Socio - Economic Discrimination: Through the Creative Lens
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The purpose of these projects was to give those with an experience of poverty an outlet to express their deepest thoughts, experiences and emotions. Both projects were also open to those within the wider ATD Ireland network who share the concerns of inequality and injustice and wish to see positive change in the world. It was an opportunity to foster a compassionate and connective community, during a particularly challenging period of time during and coming out of lockdown. People were able to find hope and comfort through these creative processes .
Lockdown Liberties: was a writing group carried out remotely, over messenger and zoom, resulting in heartfelt poetry from eight authors alongside contributions from others including President Michael D Higgins and Senator Lynn Ruane.
The Art Workshops: were organised over a period of time in Mountjoy Square Park to discuss and promote the campaign to add socio – economic discrimination as the tenth ground of discrimination in equality legislation through the art of sculpture and conversation.
Although carried out separately, many similar themes emerged from both groups such as love, hope, poverty, community, discrimination, homelessness, addiction, family, solidarity and bravery. It gave people an opportunity to connect and a platform to have their voice heard and ensure that nobody is left behind. It is difficult to engage with art when we cannot recognise ourselves within it. These projects were undertaken with the knowledge that poetry, art and culture has all too often been restricted as a pursuit for the upper and middle classes. This body of work demonstrates that those experiencing poverty have immense talent and creativity which should not be overlooked. It is invaluable to learn that your story and your voice is important. Encouraging everyone in society to explore and unlock their creative potential will lead to a more inclusive space and will only enable arts and culture to blossom.