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.