One day to go until our DIY Arts festival kicks off. We’re all set. What’s most interesting about this edition of The Trash Culture Revue is the number of events focussed on political and social commentary. Something that is central to what our skills exchange is all about. We don’t live in a vacuum and it seems that finally, finally, people are starting to engage, get involved in what’s going on around them, in the larger scheme of things, how politics, the way we live, our social relations, are at the core of our being, our relevant to us, all of us, in life, how we live, work and play. So I thought I’d give you a run down on some of our events that look to provoke, enlighten, question.
On Thursday night at 8pm we’re screening the two documentaries at Solidarity Books on Douglas Street; ’Jana Sanskriti – A theatre on the field’, a film by Jeanne Dosse (2007) and ‘D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist‘, a film by Michael W. Dean (2004)
Jana Sanskriti is centred on the fight by over 1000 peasants in India to overcome numerous social issues including; patriarchy, corruption, and worst of all, indifference. For this fight, they chose an unexpected instrument, theatre.
Through brave testimonies and parts of their forum – theatre plays, members of Jana Sanskriti (‘The People’s Culture’) reveal a solidarity in India. The group, based in West Bengal, is part of a large movement spread throughout ten different states in India utilising the methods of Theatre of the Oppressed.
Theatre of the Oppressed is a form of social theatre devised by Augusto Boal, in Brazil, in the 1960s in which theatre is used as a means of knowledge and transformation of reality in the social and relational field – the audience becoming active, ‘spect-actors’, exploring, showing, analyzing and transforming the reality in which they are living. In tandem with that documentary we will be hosting a one day introduction in Theatre of the Oppressed techniques on Saturday 19th in the Cork Circus Space on Albert Quay (check out our programme for details).
The other film, ‘D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist’ is a low-budget documentary, a ‘celebration of the underdog’ that deals with why some artists do what they do, regardless of the lack of a continuous paycheck. They may be painters, writers or musicians, they may be rich, poor or starving, but they all have one thing in common – they all create for the sake of creating something and for the need to express themselves. In the spirit of the D.I.Y. culture it portrays the DVD was released under the title, ‘D.I.Y. or Die: Burn this DVD’, with no region restrictions or copy protection, urging people to make and distribute copies for non-commercial use.
So I hope you can make it to those documentaries and if not then at least look them up, download them, buy them, get a loan of them.
We’re also delighted to have comedian Aidan Killeen down to perform at our Mutant Cabaret in The Roundy on Friday night at 10pm as well as host a free workshop on Saturday afternoon at 4pm at The Camden Palace Hotel. Aidan was originally a banker with the Bear Stearns Investment bank in Tokyo. He quit to become a comedian and now focusses his act on the financial crisis and bank debt. His show is hilariously funny, depressingly true and tellingly instructive. Someone to look out for and well worth catching if you can.
On Saturday we have a series of talks and discussions in Solidarity books on Douglas Street. First up at 10pm is John Eder talking about Time Banking. As well as discussing time as an alternative currency that is sustainable and inclusive Elder will be talking about practical ways in which a time bank can be started in Cork City.
At 12pm Mick Byrne will be talking about Autonomy and the financial system.
The discussion will range from the 40 hour week to state pensions and the fact that people have always sought to liberate their time and creativity from capital. His argument will focus on the present financial system that forms such a central part of capitalism and how it can feel like there is no way to escape the private and national debt that is central to financial capitalism. This talk will ask what autonomy means in this new context and what the implications are for social movements.
At 2pm Patrick Bresnihan will discuss Counter-culture and counter-power in the eighteenth century. In particular the secret agrarian organisations that surfaced in different parts of Ireland. Their grievances included the enclosure of common lands, inflated rent and the payment of tithes to the established church. These popular movements are not easily understood within the familiar historical frameworks of nationalism or religion. At the same time they are often considered ‘cultural’ or ‘social’ because their struggles were not framed in a ‘political’ discourse. These autonomous movements effectively undermined the power of the state and challenged the unjust effects of the governing logic by appealing to and living by a different logic rooted in alternative practices and understandings of the common good.
At 3.30pm Amber O’Sullivan and St.John O’Donnabhain will be hosting a talked called ‘Get Collectively Organising and Avoid Burnout!’ It’s a short introductory workshop about building a personally and collectively more sustainable resistance. It will be geared towards those interested in effecting social change, particularly those involved with political or community work. Both speakers want to move beyond the idea that collective work and work on the self are separate areas and instead move towards an integrated approach. During the workshop they will be introducing various techniques, tools and ideas for dealing with group or individual burnout within community or political organising.
Best of all there will be food from Veg Out to keep you sustained throughout the day. It’s a vegan café that raises funds for various causes and organisations and creates a space where like-minded people can come and meet with good food involved. It will be donations only.
The talks, cabaret and comedy workshop are all free so I hope you can make it to at least one of the events.
For more details on The Trash Culture Revue check out our website page and if you want more info just email me.
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