Monday, 28 November 2011

"Another world is possible: reflections on power, seeds and change" (Clare, Sat 3rd Dec)

Galway One World Centre (GOWC) and the Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) present - Another World Is Possible: reflections on power, seeds and change, a day of engaging debate, fine music and local food at the Irish Seed Savers centre in Scariff, Co Clare on Saturday Dec 3rd.

This free event runs from 10am to 5pm, donations gratefully received. Further info, contact Trish at 091-530590 or write to Advance booking recommended.

Featuring John Holloway, Jo Newton, Pat O'Donnell, Saul Mosbacher, Alphonse Basogomba and Deirdre Ni Argain. There will also be lunch and music featuring Tommy Hayes, Vincent Griffin, Mark Donnellan, Sharon Murphy and friends.

Renowned author John Holloway will be a special guest at a gathering in the Irish Seedsavers Association (ISSA) on Sat Dec 3rd. John was born in Ireland and 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). John has written extensively about social movements and the possibilities of radical change with particular emphasis on autonomous organising strategies. 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. For Holloway, autonomy is built every day, in every fresh exchange in which we reject the dominant story of consumerism as the passport for a happy life.

Jo Newton, Seedkeeper at the ISSA, embodies the possibility of self reliance as a lived alternative to dependence on the corporate food chain.. 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, seed banks and related issues as a gateway to other autonomies.

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. O'Donnell 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 awkward questions about Shell's gas pipeline however, he has been rewarded with harassment, a beating and imprisonment, relegated to the status of 'a thug and a bully.'

In June 2009 his boat the Iona Isle sank in mysterious circumstances. The maritime casualty investigation board refused to investigate the incident.

Alphonse Basogomba, coordinator of Clare Intercultural network 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 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 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...