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Galway - Event Notice
Saturday December 01 2007

Galway Social and Cultural Space meeting

category galway | housing | event notice author Wednesday November 28, 2007 17:25author by Galway spacers - Social Space Collectiveauthor email galwayzine at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Space exploration in Galway

A public meeting is to be held in Galway in December to discuss the opening of a cultural and social centre in Galway.

A number of local charities and community groups have been invited to the meeting and the organisers are hopeful that it will gain support among these organisations.

Independent cultural centres have existed for some years in Dublin and Cork. Now a newly formed association in Galway aims to develop a community orientated and community organised, non-profit, cultural and creative space for Galway.

"Whilst there are lots of bars and clubs there is a definite need for community-owned and driven cultural, artistic and creative spaces that can facilitate learning and provide a space for people to come together," a spokesperson said this week.

The meeting will be attended by various social, cultural, community and charity organisations from throughout Galway City and County, and will deal with issues such as the increasing lack of public space in Galway city, as well as the lack of a focus for Galway's vibrant cultural traditions. It will also provide a forum for ideas and uses for the space to be discussed.

"We're calling on anyone, whether they be a visitor to Galway or a long time resident, and particularly those involved with community organisations, to come along on Saturday and share their views whilst hearing what others are proposing," they added.

The group say they are not seeking a space like that proposed for Ceannt Station, but a space that will be self-funding and independent from government or any organisation, although they fully support the work of the Arts Alliance on Ceannt Station.

The meeting will take place on Saturday 1 December, at 2pm in Conradh na Gael on Dominic Street.

author by xpublication date Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I notice that the word "political" is entirely absent from this blurb.

Are the people involved in this venture entirely apolitical, or not willing to be honest about it?

author by Wonderingpublication date Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't they have any art galleries, theatres and things in the booming city of Galway? I know Waterford, Wexford, Limerick and Sligo have arts centres to host art shows, theatrical performances, holiday workshops for kids, evening and weekend concerts and the like.
I can't believe Galway can be so starved of outlets, unless the centre proposed intends to be something more than an arts centre. Maybe they're working towards something along the lines of seomra spraoi?

author by Galwegian - -publication date Thu Nov 29, 2007 15:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think what they're talking about appears to be open to all sectors of the community without neccessarily defining itself along political lines. Such definitions can lead to alienation as opposed to inclusion, and it looks like what they're aiming to do is to create their own politics without falling under a particular label. Something which might work in Galway, the odd old city that it is.

author by Wonderingpublication date Thu Nov 29, 2007 22:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That seems to clarify things a bit, but what's this about "...in Galway, the odd old city that it is."

In what manner is Galway odd compared with, say, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick or Sligo? I always got the impression that Galway is a vibrant young city.

author by Curiouspublication date Fri Nov 30, 2007 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is it going to be operated along libertarian/anarchist principles??
Hope so..

author by Mark Cpublication date Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sounds like a good idea to me. Best of luck with it.


author by ypublication date Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

fair enough about people wanting to create something for other people to get involved in - i just think that people involved in political groups, organisations, ideologies or campaigns should be upfront and honest about their intentions and values, that they bring with them to a centre or the formation of a new collective. people deride the SWP etc for front campaigns and not being honest about their socialism - so if there are libertarians or anarchists involved in setting this "social centre" up then they too should be honest about their political intentions (either in general or for this space).

thats not too much to ask is it?

author by Michaelpublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So,how did the meeting go? Could someone post minutes or a synopsis or something please, i missed it due to exams. It would be great to see a social centre in Galway! Is there plans to have another meeting this side of the holidays?

author by Galway spacer - Galway space collectivepublication date Sat Dec 08, 2007 15:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The meeting was great Michael. There were about thirty five people from a wide variety of backgrounds in the arts and community work and some very useful and positive discussion about the need for an independent space of this nature in Galway and the process of how we can go about setting one up. There won't be another public meeting this side of the new year but if you are interested in getting involved you can email us at galwayspace@gmail.com.

I think the poster above meant 'odd' in the sense of particular rather than strange. We are keenly aware that what has worked in other places might not necessarily work here and that while it is instructive for us to look at what people are doing in other cities we have to build this from the bottom up in Galway. Galway isn't Waterford or Wexford or Limerick or Sligo, nor is it Dublin or Cork. That doesn't make it any better or worse than the rest of those places, just different.

While it's true that this is a vibrant and young city, with a strong tradition in culture and the arts, there is actually a serious lack of amenities here, especially open and independent ones. There is an ongoing campaign by the Arts Alliance against the plans for the redevelopment of Ceannt station which we fully support. The process that we are engaged in runs parallel to that and is based on our conviction that such a space is necessary in Galway. There was wide consensus on this point at the meeting last saturday.

We organise democratically, without hierarchical structures and encourage active participation and rely on consensus decision making.

To zed that's digging I'd venture that a couple of people involved in the collective probably would consider themselves anarchists or libertarians, others certainly wouldn't and many wouldn't feel comfortable with the political labels, regardless of their beliefs. Talk of SWP-style front organisations here is highly disingenuous. There isn't an anarchist grouping in Galway that I'm aware of so how could there be a front organisation for one? Anyone who supports the idea can get involved in the collective. We want to get things done - we're not into the politics of sectarianism and nobody is going around trying to spread ideologies with a hammer.

I hope this post answers all your questions. Thanks to everyone who voiced their support

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