“Steafán Hanvey is thoughtful, intelligent and reflective about the culture and family that shaped him, as well as how it has influenced and defined his recent album, ‘Nuclear Family’. When I first learned about Steafán and Bobbie Hanvey, I knew their story was something special. One that deserved to be told through the very art that it had inspired.”
A wonderful performer and engaging storyteller. Steafán really gives his audience a view into the consequences of political conflict at the personal and social levels and the impact of living under the constant threat of violence.
– Le Moyne College, NY
Simply the best treatment of The Troubles I’ve ever seen or heard. A powerful story of struggle, loss, war and peace.
– The Irish American Cultural Institute (Omaha chapter)
“Look Behind You!™ A multi-media presentation by Irish singer-songwriter Steafán Hanvey, brilliantly blends his father Bobbie’s iconic photographs of the Troubles with his own beautifully crafted words, music and lyrics to offer audiences a moving and memorable experience.”
– Boston College
Look Behind You!™ is a powerful demonstration of how our personal memories are also public and shared memories. Steafán Hanvey has a story to tell that is unique and at the same time connects to the lives of many others.
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK
Teaching about the Troubles has always been sacred territory for me. Look Behind You!is a powerful, marrow-touching, soul-stirring multimedia performance that commands the attention of all of your senses. Steafán Hanvey’s music, intermingled with photos and interviews from his documentarian father, Bobbie, created an intimate look into the struggles and losses of the people who lived through the Troubles. It was raw and transformative simultaneously. It was an honor to have Steafán perform at American University’s School of International Service. His performance cannot be captured on the pages of a textbook, but its power triggers a visceral understanding of the human costs of violent conflict.
– The American University/School of International Service, DC
We were all very impressed with Look Behind You!™ and thrilled to have such a diverse audience in attendance. Lots of people asked us “how did you find this guy?” Steafán was very natural, conversational and comfortable with people and built a good rapport with his audience – everyone enjoyed his sense of humour, wit, knowledge and wisdom. The multi-media aspect was really effective – integrating songs, poetry, news clips, stories, anecdotes, political info and more was a really good way to engage with a different time and place and learn about a conflict situation and the aftermath. Impressive!
– Conrad Grebel, University of Waterloo, Canada
Deeply personal and profoundly universal. Hanvey is a consummate performer who takes his audience through experiences both ferocious and funny, unfamiliar and familiar, with a charisma that mesmerizes.
– University of Nebraska—Omaha
Steafán Hanvey’s Look Behind You is stunning. He deftly weaves together song, poetry, prose, and images to create a seamless and unforgettable representation of life in Northern Ireland during the violence. It will stay with audiences emotionally and intellectually well after the performance is over.
– Grinnell College, IA
“I have studied the Northern Irish conflict for many years and even visited Northern Ireland, but in “Look Behind You! Steafán brought elements of this history to life that I had never seen or felt in this way... His father’s photos are a moving and vivid record of the painful history and Steafán further evokes their emotional and political content through his music and stories as well as his analysis of the language and perceptions of this historical conflict.”
– SIT Graduate Institute/Brattleboro, VT
Steafán Hanvey enthralled an audience. Students, staff and faculty from the University were joined by people from the local community, San Diego county and the wider California state area all round. We were treated to a multi-media performance ‘The End of Art is Piece’, developed out of his very successful ‘Look Behind you!’ Tour. The performance brought together personal reflections, vivid photographic images, video and radio clips, along with moving songs and tunes that helped chronicle the joys and sorrows of the North of Ireland communities across the past forty or so years. A lively question and answer session followed that demonstrated just how much the audience had been touched and inspired by Steafán’s performance. The questions were thoughtful and challenging, reflecting the thought-provoking nature of the entire show. I would warmly recommend Steafán’s work and shows to any campus community looking for something different – an insightful, creative and moving performance all round. The combination of the multi-media components of the show, especially the award-winning photography of his father, Bobbie Hanvey, alongside Steafán’s own compositions left an especially deep impression on all present.
– University of San Diego, CA
“I was incredibly thankful to bring Steafán Hanvey to Bridgewater State for a performance-lecture. Not only did he help to cement many of the ideas and issues we had been discussing all semester by introducing visual images to my students, but his adept use of music, song, and photography captivated my students’ attention and stimulated their curiosity. They lit up during the question and answer period, and were much more interested in the material and provoked by the history and politics of Ireland after Steafan’s visit. We were lucky to bring him to our campus.”
– Bridgewater State University (Mass)
I would recommend Look Behind You!™ very strongly as a rich and engaging complement to similar courses or programs. His combination of song, photographic slideshow, and PowerPoint questions touched on many of the ideas we had been discussing in the course, including the role of the artist in representing conflict, and truly helped the students make the connections that seemed so abstract to them before. But what the students loved most was the personal angle: his experience of growing up in Northern Ireland, his relationship with his father, Bobbie Hanvey, and the beautifully-sung music that coincided so wonderfully with the photography that he shared.
– University of Kansas, KS
In his multimedia performance, Look Behind You!™, Steafán Hanvey combines stirring words and music with his father’s stunning photographs. The result is a powerful, immersive perspective on Ireland’s Troubles. Hanvey’s use of analogies to events familiar to Americans helps personalize the emotions. He also presents clips from radio broadcasts and news reports that provide texture, detail and context. Hanvey’s art provides comfort as, even though he grew up amid the Troubles and was directly exposed to the carnage, his struggle to understand clearly continues, as does ours.
– Ohio County Public Library, Wheeling, WV
A must-see presentation. The personal perspective Steafán Hanvey brings to living through The Troubles and how it changed everyone’s approach to their everyday lives and relationships is truly eye-opening and dramatic.
– St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY
Look Behind You!™ is an extraordinary multimedia reflection on war, peace, and family that begins in Northern Ireland but reaches far beyond. Combining breathtaking photographs by his father Bobbie Hanvey with his own songs and reflections on growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Steafán Hanvey offers a moving and thought-provoking experience. He is a personable performer who relates well to both student and community audiences. I recommend him highly. I am delighted that we were able to bring singer and storyteller Steafán Hanvey to the University of Texas.
– University of Texas
Deeply felt and enlightening. A unique work of history and art that, truthfully, presents no easy answers to its urgent questions. Look Behind You!™ should not be missed.
– CNY Chapter of The Irish American Cultural Institute (President)
Look Behind You!™ is excellent. It’s a unique and creative program. Steafán was great to work with. I found him kind, warm and personable.
– The Helen Plum Memorial Library, IL
– New York Irish Voice