Famished is a long, poetic sequence written by Cherry Smyth that explores the Irish Famine (1845-51) and the role of colonialism in causing the largest migration of the nineteenth century. Cherry has collaborated with Irish composer Ed Bennett and vocalist Lauren Kinsella to draw on the power of collective lament, using music and expanded singing.
Inspired by the current migration crisis, which evokes the ‘coffin ships’ that carried the Irish across the Atlantic, Famished examines women’s role in the Famine and explores how famine followed the British flag.
The revival of interest in the Famine, partly due to its severe under-representation in education and art, but also as a vehicle to express our complex relationship with the past, helps us to look at poverty and displacement in our contemporary world. Famished provides new material for reflection, understanding and resolution.