Stories of Change Exhibition

The 2023-2024 STAND Festival has teamed up with the vibrant and refreshing Stories of Change - a project on a mission to flip the narrative from doom and destruction to positivity and hope through sharing the stories of good people doing good things in Ireland and beyond. 

We know that the challenges facing us as a global community— from climate change and biodiversity loss to rising inequalities—are immense. We also know that there are countless young people and unsung heroes stepping up to play a role in being part of the solution and creating the change they want to see.  

This exhibition showcases highlights from the national Stories of Change collection as well as five fresh, student-crafted stories gathered from campuses across Ireland. The stories harvested for this exhibition are not fantasy. They are relevant and realistic solutions that are mitigating the impacts of climate breakdown and improving the lives of people globally.  

We acknowledge that we have limitations as individuals. We know we need strong political leadership and for corporations to compensate for the loss and damage they have caused. But, as the response to the Covid pandemic demonstrated, we are capable of the most extraordinary things when we connect with our community, take comfort in nature, and act with integrity for the collective good.  

Our hope is that these stories will put fire in your belly, spark your imagination and inspire you to start your own Stories of Change. We want to continue to add to the collection by sharing more stories. So, if you are someone or if you know of someone or a group of people doing something good for global justice, then let us know. You can make a nomination here

We’d like to give special thanks to our talented student reporters, Tejaswy Swathi Kovuri, Eoghan Ryder and Clíodhna Malone, for crafting these new stories and to Jacqui Devenney Reed, Lizzie Downes and Alan Plafor their beautiful photography. 

Noor Ul Ain
Noor Ul Ain - Master’s Student, Education Enthusiast and Volunteer, Dublin

“It’s innate for us to feel for each other. We should hold on to the feeling and let it translate into something that we action for the people around us.” 

Claudia Maria Zedda & Marta Sofia Correia
Claudia Maria Zedda & Marta Sofia Correia - Fáilte Refugee Society, UCC, Co. Cork

“We are working with the people we want to support, giving them a space to belong and helping them to express their voices.” 

Mamobo Ogoro
Mamobo Ogoro - Founder & CEO, Gorm Media, Tallaght, Dublin

“We want to cross communities and create spaces in which we all belong.” 

Tejaswy Swathi Kovuri
Tejaswy Swathi Kovuri - Co-Founder, Students for Vaccine Equity, Ennis, Co. Clare

“I want to make a difference, big or small.” 

Sandrine Uwase Ndahiro
Sandrine Uwase Ndahiro - Co-Founder, Unapologetic Magazine, Co. Limerick

“We are unapologetically centralising marginalised voices.” 

Fergal Keane, Fionn Doherty & Ciarán Bonfil
Fergal Keane, Fionn Doherty & Ciarán Bonfil - Loop Head Peninsula, Co. Clare

“One of the best parts of this project is feeling how strong the community spirit is here, they’re like a family we didn’t know we had.” 

Peter Collins & Gareth Hayes
Peter Collins & Gareth Hayes - Hope Drop Inn, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal

“We want to spread hope and help people to see the blessing in life.” 

Mick Verspuij
Mick Verspuij - Boomtreebees, Buncrana, Donegal

“I create habitats rather than keep bees.” 

Aidan O’Connor & Martha Farrell
Aidan O’Connor & Martha Farrell - Maharees Conservation Association, Maharees, Kerry

“A small group of people really can make a difference.” 

Adam Cross, Gerald Arbuckle, Noah Lane
Adam Cross, Gerald Arbuckle & Noah Lane - Foam Cafe, Bundoran, Donegal

"We try our best to do what we can, because why wouldn’t we?"

Emmett Johnston
Emmett Johnston - Marine Ecologist, Inch Island, Inishowen, Donegal

"The Irish are island people and I am passionate about connecting us back to the sea."

Bébhinn Mullins
Bébhinn Mullins - Clonmany Community Pantry, Clonmany, Donegal

“If we all made small changes, we would have a seriously wonderful impact.”

Lucy O’Sullivan
Lucy O’Sullivan - The Old Monastery Guest House, Cahersiveen, Kerry

“Blame and shame won’t get us anywhere. We need to crack on and get to work making positive changes.” 

Julius Brummelman
Julius Brummelman - Filmmaker and Woodland Conservationist, Slieve Aughty Mountains, Co. Galway

“All around us there are signs of increased awareness and inspiring new initiatives.” 

Gordon Bromley
Gordon Bromley - Lecturer in Physical Geography & Climate at University of Galway, Galway

“All around us there are signs of increased awareness and inspiring new initiatives.” 

Áine Boyle & Sally Anne Sherry
Áine Boyle & Sally Anne Sherry - Kahm Sustainable Swimwear, Gartan, Donegal

“We both just really love where we’re from. We want to put Donegal on the map for being sustainably conscious.” 

Michelle Chiperi Aivazova, Sinead Pokall, Ellen Butler
Michelle Chiperi Aivazova, Sinead Pokall, Ellen Butler - SAUTI-Youth, Youth Work Ireland, Galway City

“We want to empower young people to realise they have a voice, that their voice should be heard and that they have every right to be informing policy!” 

Ian McGrigor
Ian McGrigor - Gortbrack Organic Farm, Tralee, Kerry

“Biodiversity is our wealth, it’s not an add on.” 

Sinead O’Brien
Sinead O’Brien - Founder of Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed, Ros a Mhíl, Co. Galway

“We need to invest in our young people to learn the skills to create a sustainable, secure and future-proof food system.” 

 Anita McKeown & Rebecca White
Anita McKeown & Rebecca White - Future Focus21C, Cahersiveen, South Kerry

“The more small, everyday actions that people make, the more it begins to transform the whole system.”