We want Derry’s growing multicultural communities to be reflected in our social spaces. So Void Gallery are currently debuting a new programme called Chai and Chat, in which we will serve Chai (tea) and encourage people to use the gallery as a social meeting space.


An programme inspired by the Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Welcome Spaces initiative.


“Arriving in Derry for the first time towards the end of 2022, invited an opportunity for me to get to know the local community, but I didn’t really know where to start. In my first few weeks in Derry, I listened for various accents and languages and realised how diverse the city was, all intermingled. Drinking tea with someone and learning another man’s language are two things that have always helped us break down barriers in society.

Nelson Mandela said: “If you communicate to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head, when you speak to him in his own language, it touches his heart”.

The cold weather fuelled a desire for warmth and connection. Since I didn’t feel comfortable going to pubs alone, I looked for sites where people from various walks of life might meet, but I couldn’t really locate any.

Chai, which is a name for tea in numerous languages, is made in the Indian subcontinent by blending milk with spiced black tea. It is a staple in my family; and the first thing my mother serves me when I walk in, Chai, is one of the most poignant markers of my Pakistani ancestry. As a sign of hospitality, it creates sentiments of kinship, ties people to their humanity, and brings comfort.

With these considerations in mind, I’d like to invite people to join me for chai at the Void Gallery at various points throughout the year.” – Sara Bint Moneer Khan, Head of Public Programmes at Void.


Upcoming dates:

Thursday 23 March 6:30-8:30pm


Join us at Void to mark the holy months of Ramadan and Lent, which this year coincide with the onset of spring. At Iftaar (the meal eaten after sundown during Ramadan), our Head of Programming Sara Bint Moneer Khan asks you to share some tea and your gathering, ceremonial, and ritual memories with her against the backdrop of our current exhibitions by Locky Morris & Jaki Irvine, and Void Gallery Fine Art Graduation Prize winner Krunal Gohil.


Thursday 25 May, time TBC




Void Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, All Island Fund, Austin and Hope Pilkington Foundation, Arnold Clarke Foundation, Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, Community Foundation Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Enkalon Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, The Ireland Funds, Ragdoll Foundation.