As Eyre Square remains ‘Occupied’ by citizens anxious to change the way the system works, the Scariff-based Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) and Galway One World Centre (GOWC) are hosting an all day gathering which will consider how that alternative system might look.
‘Another World Is Possible – reflections on power, seeds and change’ will combine debate, fine music and local food at the Irish Seed Savers centre in Scariff, Co Clare on Saturday Dec 3 from 10am to 5pm. Children welcome. A free event. The gathering will feature John Holloway, Jo Newton, Pat O’Donnell, Saul Mosbacher, Alphonse Basogomba and Deirdre Ni Argain.
At lunchtime the pizza oven will be be fired up as the county’s finest fiddlers, Tommy Hayes, Vincent Griffin and Mark Donnellan display their extraordinary talents alongside Kinvara-based singer Sharon Murphy and friends.
Guest speaker is renowned author John Holloway, born in Ireland, who has spent the past twenty years living in Mexico where he teaches Sociology at the Autonomous University of Puebla. John’s ideas are expressed in numerous articles and books, notably Crack Capitalism (Pluto 2010) and ‘Change the world without taking power (Pluto 2002).
One of the key questions raised in his work is the issue of change as a struggle against power, rather than a struggle for power. In this he coincides with the new wave of global activism, the Occupy movements which have recently sprouted from Iceland to Illinois, from Eyre Square to Barcelona. John Holloway believes that the struggle for change is rooted in our everyday lives, departing from the traditional belief that the takeover of the state is essential to changing the world.
History teaches us that when the new governing class takes power, the new bureaucrat-politicos quickly learn the language, logic and calculations of power. The ongoing U-turns in the Fine Gael/Labour coalition and the surrender of sovereignty to international finance offers fresh proof of this trend.
Jo Newton, Seedkeeper at the ISSA, embodies the possibility of self reliance as a lived alternative to dependence on the corporate food giants. Jo’s experience is the starting point for taking back control of key aspects of our lives. Jo will introduce the gathering to the seedsaver organisation, walking us through the grounds, offering an overview of seeds and seed banks.
Pat O’Donnell, alias ‘the chief’, has been fishing the Erris coastline from the age of 14… when the Corrib Gas project was announced he feared for his livelihood and for the safety of the seas which have nourished his community for generations. Pat was once rewarded by the state for his bravery in a cave rescue operation, winning high praise for his active citizenship. Once he began asking questions about Shell’s gas pipeline however, he has been rewarded with harassment, a beating and imprisonment. In June 2009 his boat the Iona Isle sank in mysterious circumstances. The maritime casualty investigation board refused to investigate the incident.
Alphonse Basogomba, based in Ennis, is coordinator of Clare Intercultural network and lives in direct provision, Ireland’s contemporary version of the industrial school where asylum seekers are warehoused in grim conditions and expected to be grateful for the consideration. Alphonse will give an account of life under direct provision with a particular emphasis on food issues.
Saul Mosbacher is a seed collector based near Feakle who manages the Celt Tree nursery and has extensive experience in natural building, using cob, straw bale and other sustainable local materials. Saul will present his vision of alternative building possibilities.
Deirdre Ni Argain is an artist based in Kilmaley, Co Clare, working since the 1980s in a variety of settings. Over the past decade Deirdre has been working in palliative care at Milford Care Centre…she will be using art materials to reflect upon and respond to whatever the day raises for people.
‘In the beginning is not the word but the scream’, writes John Holloway, echoing Indian writer Arundhati Roy, who has spoken of the need for a ‘feral howl’ in the face of injustice and indignity.
One world where many worlds fit. Scariff, the starting point…
This free event runs from 10am to 5pm, donations gratefully received. Further info, contact Trish at 091-530590 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org Advance booking recommended.
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