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National - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Activist Fleadh

category national | miscellaneous | event notice author Saturday July 17, 2010 00:11author by Laurence Cox Report this post to the editors

Summer school for radicals in all ages in Kilbarrack

Kilbarrack CDP is hosting a summer school for radicals of all ages on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th August.
Summer school flyer front
Summer school flyer front

Activist Fleadh:
Kilbarrack CDP is hosting a summer school for radicals of all ages
August 14th and 15th, 2010

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!" – WH Murray


In recent months there has been much discussion about alternative options to deal with the current economic crisis. This is because we are being drip-fed a story which tells us all to accept the "reality" of the situation we face. This is ironically "inclusive" and suggests that it is possible to manage the crisis, but only if we work together. What many now realise is that the current government is prepared to put Irish society itself into crisis to "fix" an economic one of its own making.

So what can we do?

It is not about getting further expert advice. It's about learning to re-engage with the society we live in on all sorts of levels. It's about expressing our anger in constructive and obstructive ways to affect change and act in solidarity with the struggles of people in our communities and around the world – to put the values of social justice and equality back on the agenda.

So what do we do?

We are organising an Activist Fleadh this summer to bring together activists and non-activists who want to learn how to find new ways to challenge the crisis we are facing. We talk, we listen, we learn, we respect, we support, we create – we "speak out" and we ACT. We begin, not only for ourselves but with and for others.

though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.
- Brendan Kennelly

When and where?

The Activist Fleadh is on the weekend of the 14th – 15th of August in Kilbarrack Community Development Project. It is cost-free as everyone is volunteering – their time, their expertise, their ideas and experiences. The venue is fully accessible with childcare and materials provided. All you need to do is get in contact and fill out a registration form!

How are we going to do it?

We will set the scene with a small number of inspirational talks and these will be followed by work-camps on the themes outlined below which will link a variety of issues. These will be guided by motivators using creative and participative methods giving all of us the opportunity to explore and express our views. The second round of work-camps will offer opportunities to use creative methods and media to develop statements; plan actions; write plays and short sketches; tell and record stories; use radio, film, video and photography; create art, installations and banners; perform music and write new lyrics to old songs; support each other through home-cooked food; create a beautiful and inspiring space and a community for a weekend.

There will also be open spaces to be used for all sorts of activities such as "open mike", watching videos, playing or listening to music, using the on-site internet café.

The themes of the Fleadh

- Social inequality, inclusion and justice
- Fighting the cutbacks
- Sustainability and global justice
- Radical change and transformation
- Supporting the warrior leader in ourselves and others

What do we hope to achieve? A call to action!

- find new ways to resist and protest that are inspiring and supportive; that channel anger to create rather than destroy; that are fun rather than filled with despair; that build communities and solidarity.
- reclaim our capacities (politically, socially, culturally and economically) to influence the society we live in so that it is truly democratic and socially just.
- show respect for our different experiences.
- re-learn how to support ourselves and each other.
- create new leaders in all of us.
- explore our own alternative options. There is not just one way!

Come join us!

We have lots of different kinds of spaces, and are particularly keen to encourage a very wide range of groups, social activists and those who want to fight back across all age groups and experiences to participate. All are welcome: young and old, community activists and educators, people with ideas and people searching for ideas, artists and performers, social movement organisers and political activists.

For further details (including a more detailed programme) and a registration form please contact Cathleen O'Neill or Kim Cromwell at Kilbarrack Community Development Project by telephone (01 848 3619) or email cathleen@kilbarrackcdp.com

Fleadh venue: Kilbarrack Community Development Project, c/o St Benedict's Resource Centre, Swan's Nest Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5.
Just a one minute walk from Kilbarrack DART station or just past Kilbarrack Shopping Centre on the 29a bus.

Summer school flyer reverse
Summer school flyer reverse

author by Laurence Cox - Activist Fleadhpublication date Fri Jul 23, 2010 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Saturday 14th August

Introduction to work-camps

The work-camps are designed to enable us all - activists and non-activists, radicals of all ages and people in many different communities, movements and struggles - to find spaces to talk to each other about what we have in common:

- What are the big structures of power and inequality that shape our world, and how do we meet them?
- How can we find effective ways of protesting, disrupting, constructing alternatives and taking action?
- How can our local struggles connect to large-scale strategies for change that have a real chance of success?
- What is the "big picture" in terms of global justice and ecological sustainability, and where do we fit in?
- How do personal transformation and the development of leadership come into the struggle for a better world?

9.30 - Arrival and registration

10.00 - Gathering in plenary

10.15 - Opening and welcome:
• Why are we here? Opening Address ; Representatives from Kilbarrack ‘fight the cuts’ group and Representatives from Kilbarrack Youth Group
• Setting the scene for the 'Speak-outs'

11.15 - Thematic facilitated work camps

1) Social Inequality (with a particular focus on class, gender, race)
This work camp will support the articulation of a collective voice on the nature and lived experience of the structural inequalities which are deeply embedded in Irish society and which restrict so many people’s lives ; it will also explore what needs to happen to challenge and help dismantle these structures and how we can all be a part of this

2) Fighting the Cutbacks- Ways of Protesting
This work camp will concentrate on developing creative ways to resist cutbacks and changes in policy, and most especially to identify and challenge what has been happening to leaders (formal and informal) in the community development, equality and disability sectors. We plan to write articles, poems, verse and limericks and anything else that comes up during the workcamps. Creative support and inspiration will be provided (as will computers and powerpoint access).

3) Transformation- Bringing about Change
Most of the time our work has to be in a specific place, around a specific issue - but we are motivated by the thought that our local efforts, together with the struggles of other people in other places around other issues, might add up to a much bigger change.
This work camp will be around "joining the dots" - getting from structures of inequality to a just and sustainable world, bringing together personal change and effective protesting into effective struggles for change that might really make a difference on a large scale.

4) Sustainability and Global Justice
The scale of global inequalities can make action for justice at a global level seem daunting. This workcamp will link some of the causes and impacts of structural inequalities in Ireland with those of people throughout the world. It will further explore if and how we can forge solidarities between ‘local’ struggles for economic, social, political and environmental justice and those being undertaken by people in the Global South.

5) Finding and supporting the Warrior Leader (in ourselves and others)
This work-camp will explore how, our human potential is developed, not only through looking at how we relate to ourselves and those close to us, but also by becoming aware of how we influence society and the world by our thinking and our actions or inactions.
Through different activities, participants will work towards an understanding of how to be more effective as active agents of sustainable change in the wider community, while also respecting and supporting each other in a supportive and holistic process. Possible tools and traditions being drawn on: authentic leadership; yoga; 'mindfulness' meditation; story- telling; deep listening; liberation theology.

6. Young People as Change Makers
Change takes many forms; it doesn’t have to be a global, economic or even community change to be significant. In order to seek change on a larger scale we sometimes need to look within to find the strength and courage to make some changes for and in ourselves. We then may feel ready to move to bigger changes. Continuing a legacy of generations before us is easy as sometimes it is all we know. However change making and pattern breaking are possible and achievable. This work camp will support participants to identify changes they can make.

1.00 - Lunch

2.30 - Creative Media Workcamps – planning actions, making statements, plays, stories, photos, films etc.
1) Creative Writing and Telling Stories for Change
2) Creating Change through Food and Gardening
3) Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed
4) Photography as a medium for Change
5) Video/ Film
6) Stunts
7) Art and Installation/ Badges and Banners

4.00 - Break

4.30 - 'Speak outs'

5.15 - Close

The programme on Day two - the 15th- will have broadly the same format with people being able to choose a different set of workcamps from those selected on Day one.

Day two will close at 4.00pm with a closing celebration and viewing of work achieved along with a ‘promise’ of one action arising out of work and discussions over the week-end.

Additional Activities
In addition to the structured workcamps we would like to invite people to come and share their skills, talents and ideas in a less formal way e.g. making music, performing / presenting plays and videos, doing art installations, staging activities for children. If you are interested in doing any of these, please contact kimcromwell AT rocketmail.com

Debate - Models for Social Change
There are now a wide range of initiatives and campaigns all aiming to reverse the cuts and set a direction for greater social justice and equality. Some rely on protesting, some on lobbying, and some on other strategies again. This session invites representatives of these different campaigns to discuss the thinking behind their different strategies and whether they are competing alternatives or complementary approaches. If you are interested in representing a particular initiative at this session, please contact mccrea.niamh AT gmail.com

author by Interestedpublication date Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It sounds like a very constructive and positive thing ye are doing. May I ask who you are, what is the background of the organisers?

author by Laurence Cox - Activist Fleadhpublication date Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Interested -

It's a fair question!

The quick answer is that the organising core is myself (NUI Maynooth MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism), Cathleen O'Neill (Kilbarrack CDP), Kim Cromwell (Kilbarrack CDP), Maureen Bassett (independent consultant on education and social development), Jean Bridgeman (Women of Insight, Kildare), Niamh McCrea (UCD Equality Studies), Augusta McDermott, Maura Gallagher (Langtrain Intercultural Training) and José Antonio Gutiérrez (Latin America Solidarity Centre). There are about another 20 people in a wider support group - mostly community activists, trade unionists, and supportive academics.

A basic policy is that this is "a process not a platform" - ie that the various sessions are designed to treat participants as equals and develop a discussion rather than have different groups trying to "sell their wares" (however important!) to each other. Ie the idea is for activists to be able to connect with each other across the big gulfs of different issues etc. in the context of the current crisis. It will be run very much on adult / community ed principles.

The background for the Fleadh comes out of a discussion following a talk to the UCD "Equality in a time of crisis" conference (available via http://www.ucd.ie/ewi/mariecurie/conference1.html) and an invitation from Cathleen O'Neill to those interested in the idea of an activist summer school to hold it in Kilbarrack.

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