In the lead up to the Irish Budget, Occupy Cork organised a March of Defiance – which was part of a National Occupy campaign – in Cork City. As part of that march Cork Community Artlink were asked to get involved, to make props, flags, posters. In other words bring a more creative aspect to the proceedings. It was after that action that I, from this skills exchange, and William and Sinead from Artlink decided we would carry this idea further and move this creative defiance onto the next step. And so it was that two weeks ago we sat down and trashed it out, threw ideas around and came up with what amounts to a risk, a possibility, a chance, an opportunity to create something new, something that belongs to all of us – a peoples festival. No name yet, nothing definite, except that it would be a series of events created and produced by the people of cork; community groups, organisations and associations, development projects, charities, artist co-operatives, studios, dance and theatre companies, musicians, businesses, venues.
So how are we going to make this work? Is it practical, do-able, are we able?
We are busy people, all of us, you and me, all trying desperately to keep our heads above water, broke, everything tight, on the line, on the edge. On the face of it, it seems nigh on impossible to develop any sort of project in this state of crisis, in this recession. But, and it’s a big but, if we find a way to come together and share our skills, resources, time and energy to develop, create and produce these events, talks, tea parties, gigs, workshops, films, plays, musicals, talent shows, street theatre, kids events, parties, puppet shows, art exhibitions, craft exhibitions, storytelling, sport events, neighbourhood picnics, projections, historical walking tours, etc in the city and in the different communities around the city we could make a seismic change in the cultural life of this city. Set an example to everyone. Make our claim.
Sharing costs nothing but dedication, dedication to the idea that if we as individuals work collectively and in co-operation with each other anything is possible. We can make this happen, this great commingling of communities and creativity – an expression of our place.
And so, on behalf of Cork Community Art Link and Mutantspace Arts Skills Exchange, I hope that all of you from, or based in Cork, will come with us and be part of this great happening. We have the opportunity to make a profound mark on this city, our city. A city that belongs to all of us.
This is a DIY festival. This is your festival, a people’s festival by us and for us. It is about our talents and passions, about solidarity and pride, imagination and participation. It is about taking decisions by ourselves and for ourselves. It is about citizenship. You do what you want to do and have it where you want to have it.
Let me put it this way; do you not feel that it’s about time we took the bull by the horns and started working together as a place, a community to make life better for ourselves? If you do then the only way this can happen is with your help, your participation, your energy, your commitment. We have to start somewhere. And we’d like it to be with you.
We will be having our 1st exploratory planning meeting on Tuesday 24th January 2012 upstairs in the Roundy Bar on Castle Street @ 7pm. If you can’t make it get in touch. We can’t do this by ourselves, we don’t want to do this by ourselves. It’s about all of us doing it together. So please, tell people you know, share this post, come along, throw your tuppence in. We can make it happen
As far as this skills exchange goes we’ll probably running our Trash Culture Revue during this festival. I will be sending a separate email out top all members of our skills exchange in the next few days
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