“Walk & Create With Us – Where Community, Art, Nature & Interculturalism Meet”


In September 2021, the Glencree Intercultural & Refugee Programme invited a diverse group of new and old friends to attend an event in Glencree as part of our 'Better Community and Intercultural Relations through Dialogue and Encounter' (CIR) project. The event was held in association with the Shaking Bog 'Where Art Meets Nature' Festival.

Thirty attendees gathered on the grounds of Glencree for a day of exploring the intersections of community, art, nature and interculturalism through artistic, interactive and immersive workshops. Marking Glencree’s first face-to-face event of that year due to Covid restrictions, the day was inspired by the Shaking Bog Festival and gathered diverse communities to a marquee on the lawn.

Women and men aged 18 to 65 years, 16 ethnic and faith minority community members from across Dublin and Wicklow, 14 women living in a Direct Provision Centre, 5 facilitators, 3 volunteers, 6 staff members and 2 filmographers gathered together to explore creative methodologies with workshops in Plurilingual Creative Writing, Photography and Wellbeing. Afghan, Congolese, German, Hungarian, Indian, Irish, Italian, Nigerian, Polish, Somalian, Swiss, Syrian and other nationalities in attendance on the day also went on short, guided walks to inspire their work, and caterers provided lunch and tea/coffee breaks with Halal and vegetarian options.

At the end of the day, in response to the facilitators asking for key words to describe the gathering, the overwhelming response was ‘Freedom’. The freedom to be in a beautiful rural location, have the opportunity to experience the peaceful atmosphere of Glencree and the German Military Cemetery across the road, was much appreciated by all.

Facilitators came from Congolese, Irish, German, Nigerian and Polish backgrounds, with experience in poetry, photography, anti-racism training, positive-psychology and wellbeing. Attendees, facilitators and staff were invited to listen to each other, to dialogue together and across divisions, and to create something unique with diverse ethnic and faith minorities and majorities. Facilitators included: Emilia Marchelewska (Polish), Kensika Monshengwo (Congolese-Irish), Fíona Bolger (Irish), Marwa Zamir (Afghan) and Tessy Ehiguese (Nigerian-Irish).

During the day, Wicked Visuals Videographer, Albin Jacob, captured the reflections of some of the attendees who were interviewed by Glencree Women’s Leadership Programme Manager, Amina Moustafa. We invite you to view the attached 'Walk & Create' video production which includes these interviews.


Walk & Create with Us: Where Community, Art, Nature and Interculturalism Meet

In the autumn of 2021, refugees, students, writers, artists, intercultural practitioners and environmental activists came together, in the beautiful surroundings of the Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation.

‘Where Community, Art, Nature and Interculturalism Meet’ was designed as an intercultural, interactive and immersive experience. The event allowed those attending to explore and experience these concepts by taking part in guided walks and facilitated workshops of creative writing, photography and multi-cultural wellness.

In this video, participants describe how Glencree’s environment gave them the opportunity to experience how community and interculturalism can be enhanced through the power of art and nature coming together.


We thank workshop participant, Daniel Kamenyezi, for sharing a poem he composed on the day and the many attendees who shared their feedback following the event:

I Am A Tree

by Daniel Kamenyezi, Workshop Participant

My body is a tree carrying different fruits but same roots,
Those roots are to be my feet,
They can move but never fall in order to lead,
Delivering messages everywhere and whenever it suits.

Felling my arms as branches of the trees,
Branches in which birds can build their nest,
Putting confidence in it to be the best,
A tight place to live in symbiose with the bees.

Expressing their joy, singing beautiful melody,
Floating in the air by the movement of the wind,
Making branches mimicking like doing comedy,
Lightning up by the sunshine, making shadows as wing!

Head up as the top of the tree touching the sky,
Smiling to everyone and give to them desire,
Always facing up and ready to run,
Hoping the adventure to be fun.

I was connected to the nature once I putted my feet in that environment and beautiful people with brilliant ideas to help me to open my mind.
The event challenged me to look at nature with fresh eyes.
I felt like a missing puzzle to complete the set of the nature and art in Glencree, I said “This is my home” with a smile on my face.
The whole day was a great opportunity to get together with people from different backgrounds and the creative writing / photography workshops allowed me to share their perspectives wonderfully.
It was such a great experience to meet different people from different backgrounds but once we opened our mouth to speak, everybody felt like knowing each other for a long time. The energy among people was really important as the capacity of helping others in different ways at any time was a big part during the event. Together as one, brings minds up!
The event challenged me to reconsider my relationship with nature in a positive way.
It was great to have time to meet and talk to people during coffee and lunch breaks. The way it was organised made me feel that people are interested in meeting others, and it was easier to make this first step to talk to someone I haven’t known yet. The setting and focus on art and nature made it possible to connect on a more personal and less political level.
The writing workshop was a great exercise in closely observing nature but also in listening what kind of memories, emotions, feelings we connect to it. I was surprised how the German graveyard and its surrounding nature could evoke so many personal memories, mostly connected to my childhood.

We also thank all of the workshop participants and facilitators for taking part in our 'Walk & Create With Us' Video:

Annie Waithira Burke, Leda Tortora, Patrick Mboci, Ibrahim Roche, Tapasya Narang , Anna Trimborn, Fióna Bolger, Beatrix Roppelt, Dr. Badmus Akeem Omotayo, Doris Abuchi-Ogbonda, Christy Aggemang, Marwa Zamir.

Walk & Create With Us

'Walk & Create With Us' Video Production

Glencree Team - Research & Liaison: Sinéad Bolger; Interviews: Amina Moustafa; Coordination: Nadette Foley
Filming/Editing: Wicked Visuals
Producer: Roisin Boyd.