Inspired by their life in a tower block, Ciara will work together with neighbours and friends to co-write and perform a musical that puts this often-forgotten community at the fore. Through this commission Ciara hopes to create a space of togetherness with their community. This community will be invited to enjoy each other’s company, eat, talk, write, create, and sing about joy. In a capitalist society built on long hours, low wages and austerity, joy is a form of protest.
A joyful warm sip from cup of tea can be a radical act if we do it together.
Ciara Lenihan is an artist and activist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Their practice explores decolonisation of the body and the self through performance, bilingual writing and moving image. As an activist they are an active member of ACORN community union, working together with the people of Newcastle to improve living conditions for all.
For Solidarity is an ongoing project which looks to explore critical ideas of solidarity, social justice and climate justice.
The NewBridge Project and the Solidarity Economy Association have been collaborating to create a useful tool that can make visible and strengthen all of the organisations, projects, initiatives and individuals in the region who are offering an alternative to the extractive and oppressive mainstream economic system.
In short, we’re creating a map of everything that is helping people to meet their material and social needs in ways that don’t harm people or the planet, and in ways that are contributing to building a more just and sustainable world. Around the world, this type of activity is known as the solidarity economy.
We believe that the first step to strengthening our solidarity economy is to help people understand it better and to help those working within it to support each other. We’re collecting information (data) from grassroots organisations, informal meetings, neighbourhood projects, local community groups, co-ops, and associations that share the values of the solidarity economy and using it to create a digital map and directory.
The map was launched in September 2019 and is continuing to be developed. Please contact The NewBridge Project if you would like any further information about this project or how to add yourself to the map.
Image: courtesy of the artist.