Irish peace organisation Afri has joined with the Choctaw people – renowned for their respect and reverence for the planet – to call on artists everywhere to raise awareness and inspire urgent action on global warming ahead of the December climate change conference in Paris.
The effects of global warming are increasingly clear: ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate; species extinction is occurring on an unprecedented scale and communities, especially those who are already suffering, face decimation and displacement. Unless we make radical changes, things are going to get a lot worse.
But resistance is also on the rise. In 2014, a coalition of native Alaskan tribes, backed by green campaigners, won a court victory against Shell’s drilling for oil in the Arctic. Indigenous groups in the Amazon have been holding back plans to cut down more forests to facilitate oil exploration.
These artists have already pledged to act. Will you? Damien Dempsey, Liam Ó’Maonlaí, Steve Wall (The Walls/The Stunning), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames), Dónal O’Kelly, Noirín Ní Riain, Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan and more. Full list below and more to be announced soon. Are you an artist? Add your name to the list of supporters here.
Join Neil Young, Pharrell Williams and others
Artists are helping lead the change. Neil Young launched a Canadian tour in 2014 under the title ‘Honour the Treaties’, backing the struggle of Canada’s indigenous nations against environmentally destructive tar sands extraction. Pharrell Williams recently announced a series of Live Earth Concerts around the globe on June 18th of this year.
In Ireland, renowned violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire of The Frames (and ex Swell Season and Kila) will soon launch his new solo album ‘and now the weather’ which takes in the theme of our relationship with the planet. What we need now is a constant, continuous and multi-dimensional effort from now until the Paris Summit in December 2015 and beyond.
We are calling on artists, musicians, poets, painters, writers, crafts people, designers, dancers and all creative souls everywhere to use their creative genius to awaken the super-power of world opinion. Imagine the impact, if artists and those who love art, those who love Earth were to rise up and make their voices heard with one clear message: Stop killing our planet… save our world.
Please join our call by creating art that helps awaken, activate and inspire. Share your creations with your friends, fans and followers and be part of a movement of movements that is determined to forge a new world for our children and grandchildren.
Joe Murray, Afri – Action From Ireland (Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
Gary White Deer, Choctaw artist
The teachings of all First Nations tell us that all people share a common Mother Earth,
who takes care of us and we are born knowing this. In this Spirit, let us then take care
of Mother Earth as well as each other.
– Gary White Deer, Choctaw Nation
This call is supported by:
Liam Ó’Maonlaí, Damien Dempsey, Steve Wall (The Walls/The Stunning), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames), Q A.K.A Colm Quearney, Dónal O’Kelly (actor and playwright), Gary White Deer (Choctaw artist), Sarah Clancy, Colm Keegan, Enda Reilly, Queen Elvis, Veronika Stalder, Valentina Gaia Lops, Iain Dowling, Blue Drum, Gary Dunne (music), Caroline K Stanley (music), Ciara Ryan-Gerhardt (creative writing, singing), Little John Nee (writer/performer/story maker), Dave Lordan (poet), Róisín Coyle (Visual artist), Maria McManus (writer), Bibly Mosa (poetry), Denise Keenaghan (poetry), Kate O’Shea (poetry), Homeira (Printmaker), Angela T. Carr (poetry), Rosie McGurran (visual arts), Shelley Tracey (poetry), Luke Concannon (singer-songwriter), Connor McDermott (music/writing), Michelle McCarron (photography, film, writing), Ailbhe Darcy (writing), Sorcha Fox (poetry and performance), Rosemarie Rowley (poetry), William Wall (writer), Mary Madec (poetry), Tara Baoth Mooney (musician and artist), Theo Dorgan (poet), Paula Meehan (poetry), Eleanor Hooker (poet), Elise Brown/Hands on Crreation (craft, photography, poetry, dance), Celeste Auge (writing), Nessa O’Mahony (poetry), Sheila Mannix (writing), Béibhinn O’Connor (music), Jenni Ledwell (actress), Lavelle (music), Eabhan Ni Shuileabhain (poetry), Sue Hassstt (writing, research, music, activism, participatory arts), Brian Fleming (music/ theatre), Lou McMahon (singer-songwriter), Shevaun Doherty (botanical artist), Lucia Comnes (songwriter/singer/fiddler), Édaín Ní Dhomhnaill (art), Martina Flaherty (singer/songwriter), Lauren Guillery (musician – Dublin), Lucy Vigne Welsh (acting, painting, writing – Wicklow), Giselle Harvey (art/craft – Clare), Bee Smith (writing/poetry – Cavan), Danny Groenland (soul music – Dublin), Beverly Farley (painting – Quebec, Canada), Wendy Jack (singer songwriter – Ireland), Terry Corcoran (painter – Missouri, U.S.A.), Ceara Conway (visual art/singing – Galway), David Carroll (music – Bordeaux, France), Michelle Culligan (craft/ writing / mosaic), Nóirín Ní Riain PhD (music/theology), Barbara O’Meara (visual artist – Dublin), Martin Sharry (writing – Dublin), Breda Larkin (comedian – Cork), Helena Tobin (artist – Dublin), Kathleen O’Hara Farren (mixed media – Donegal), Sharon Corcoran (poetry & writing – Missouri, U.S.A.), Deborah J. Stockdale (textile artist – Donegal), Caroline Kuyper (yarn craftivism – Donegal), Jules Bitter (music – Netherlands), Ciara Delaney (music – Belfast), Saffron Thomas (sculpture – Sligo), Kathleen McCreery (theatre and writing – Donegal), Bernadette Hopkins (visual artist – Donegal), Kate Thompson (writer – Galway), Aodán McCardle (artist/poet – Donegal), Ciaran Keogh (actor/singer and film maker – Donegal), Kevin Ovita Teddy (event organizing – Kenya), Paul Byrne (music – Dublin), Kate O’Callaghan (music – Donegal), Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh (music – Limerick), Mary Lynch (art/ drawing – Belfast), Ruth Brewer (poetry –Dublin), Laura Dicus (watercolor painting-Washington, U.S.A.), Aislinn Adams (botanical and nature artist – Oregon, U.S.A.), Stephen Murray (poetry –Dublin), Ger Killeen (poetry – Oregon, U.S.A.), Cynthia Domenico (videodance – São Paulo, Brazil), Pete Mullineaux (music/poetry/drama/fiction – Galway), Oisin McGann (writing and illustration – Meath), Debbie Chapman (visual artist – Dublin), Lisa Fingleton (artist & filmmaker – Kerry), Sam (art & poetry – Ireland), Conor Bowman (writing – Meath), Stephen James Smith (poet – Dublin), Marigold Fairweather (visual art – Victoria, Australia), Freya Watson (writing – Kildare), Dolores Whelan (writer /teacher in spirituality –Louth), Fintan Vallely (music – Dublin), Diana Oleartchik (Writer – Tel Aviv, Israel).
Are you an artist? Add your name to the list of supporters here.
Just a Second!
A six minute film about the world we live in and the choices we make based on Afri’s ‘Education for Liberation’ programme with schools in Galway.
Directed by distinguished film-maker Dave Donnellan
Plus, the first public showing of a dramatic, evocative painting by Choctaw artist Gary White Deer
At Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch
Wednesday, June 11th and Thursday June 12th only
More information from Afri 01 8827563
Just A Second!
An early afternoon interlude of film, art, music and words
On the theme of Afri’s Education for Liberation programme with Gort Community School, Coláiste Einde and Salerno Secondary School in Galway
Saturday 31st May 2014
12 noon until 1.30pm
At Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch
Featuring the premiere of a short film by distinguished film-maker Dave Donnellan
and paintings by Choctaw artist Gary White Deer
Choctaw Gary White Deer
Dreamer, schemer, hitcher for hope and member of President’s Council of State Ruairí McKiernan
with contributions from
poet, songwriter and dramatist Pete Mullineaux,
educationalist and environmentalist Rose Kelly
and Galway One World Centre
Admission free, but please let us know if you intend to be there: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 8827563
Music and refreshments provided
Share this event on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1386226938332112/
Afri gratefully acknowledges the support of WorldWise Global Schools and Concern
“Shades of Solidarity”
Book launch & Art Exhibition
by the renowned Choctaw author & painter
Gary White Deer
Wednesday 22nd May, 6pm
Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
Gary’s memoir “Touched by Thunder” was published in 2012 and Afri is pleased to co-host its first launch outside Dublin in association with the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton. Simultaneously, there will be an exhibition of his paintings featuring among others “An Arrow Through Time”, an artistic representation of the Choctaw donation, “When Corporate Spuds Came to Ireland” and “Fracking”, a graphic illustration of the potentially devastating effects of shale gas exploration.
Gary White Deer has represented the Irish-Choctaw Famine link on many occasions in Ireland and beyond.
To book: http://www.theglenscentre.com/
Gary White Deer has been a leader on the Famine Walk on many occasions, and has also contributed to other Afri events. Gary’s memoir “Touched by Thunder” will be launched by Robert Ballagh at 6.30pm on the 29th November in The Doorway Gallery, 24, South Frederick Street, Dublin 2. There will also be an exhibition of his paintings following the launch from the 29th November until the 4th December in the same venue.
“There is a teaching among our peoples that says feeding someone is the greatest thing you can do, because when you do that, you’re extending human life. We have to assume they told us of the depths of the famine, touching on the incredible loss of life and the dispossession… these were common themes to my people at the time. Having gone through that deprivation, there was an automatic empathy.
I guess we’re really trying to complete the circle. We don’t know, just like the Choctaw people in 1847 didn’t know, how their modest actions, their concern at the time, would result in something beautiful happening now…
If we can turn those tragedies round that’s the way the circle can be completed, because that’s the way it was started.
It’s an arrow being shot. It might land way in the future. But someday your children, or grandchildren, are going to walk through time and they’re going to come to that spot where that arrow landed and there’ll be a blessing waiting there for them.”
– Gary (Waylon) White Deer of the Choctaw Nation talking about his people’s contribution to the Irish during the famine years.
Afri would like to thank the brave one hundred and fifty people or so who joined us on the stormy Saturday, 21st May to complete our Annual Famine Walk! Thanks also to all those who supported us by getting sponsorship or by giving a donation.
The Irish-Choctaw Famine Link originated when the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s donation was given in 1847 and reported in the Arkansas Intelligencer. The amount was $170 and is acknowledged as having been received by the Irish Relief Committee, New York (a branch of the Society of Friends (Quakers), on 19th May 1847.
What makes the Choctaw donation so remarkable is the fact that just 16 years earlier they had been forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi to a reservation in Oklahoma.
The Choctaw were the first of the south eastern Native American Indians to be forced onto what became known as ‘The Trail of Tears’ and during the removal they lost almost half of their people. Continue reading “Irish-Choctaw Famine Link”
The 21st Annual Famine Walk took place from Doolough to Louisburgh County Mayo on Saturday, May 30th 2009. As has been the case on all but one of the previous walks, the weather was good for hundreds of people who took part in the walk, the theme of which was: Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand.
Local shuttle buses ferried walkers from Louisburgh to Doolough in the now familiar pre-walk routine. At the lakeside Afri Chairperson, Andy Storey, introduced the walk leaders: Philip Ikurusi from Niger Delta; Choctaw Gary Whitedeer as well as Mary and Willie Corduff from Rossport. Extracts from the writings of Frederick Douglass were performed by Donal O’Kelly and Sorcha Fox before walkers began the ten-mile trek back into Louisburgh.