Networks of Solidarity is a series of four monthly online talks co-organised by artist/organiser Kate O’Shea and writer/researcher Enya Moore from the Just City Collective, which aims to strengthen transnational networks of solidarity and deepen awareness of place-based struggles that reverberate from Dublin 8 to Gadigal Country (Sydney, Australia). Four interconnected and overlapping sessions entitled Between our Minds; In the Roots; Through our Stories and On the Airwaves will feature presentations and performances from invited artists, activists, community workers, designers, academics, researchers, writers, and filmmakers based largely in Ireland and Australia. This event series is supported in part by a Dublin City Council Revenue award granted to Create.
In the Roots
Guests: Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria Vanni (Mapping Edges), Nadeena Dixon (Wiradjuri, Yuin and Gadigal, Dharug-Boorongberrigal clan, and multi-disciplinary artist), Seoidín O’ Sullivan (artist)
Facilitator: Dr. Eve Olney (researcher, activist, creative producer and educator)
In the Roots brings together four speakers whose practices are embedded in places of connection, creating sustainable and abundant systems as well as community organisation around ecological concerns. In this shared online space, we will explore the perspectives, knowledge and experience they bring to their practices and communities in diverse urban contexts.
Nadeena Dixon is a Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Yuin multi-disciplinary artist. Born in Sydney in 1969 on her ancestral country, she has extensive training and skills in Western and Indigenous Art Practice. Nadeena is acknowledged as a Master Weaving practitioner. She is engaged with ongoing revitalisation of traditional cultural practices, as well as supporting young and emerging artists to develop core skills. Nadeena is a Facebook International Artist Alumni, and the first Aboriginal Artist in Residence with the Facebook AIR Program. In 2019 Nadeena was commissioned to design and paint a 9-metre internal wall at Facebook’s Sydney branch at Barangaroo Towers.
Mapping Edges is a research studio that explores recombinant and civic ecologies through creative approaches designed to articulate and answer our main research question: how can we as design researchers guide city dwellers to discover and connect to the ecologies in their local areas? This question is important because the way people perceive the environment is related to the way they treat it, and as a consequence, connections to local environments foster practices of care and transformation. To answer this question, we have developed design propositions (or if you like creative methods) that enable us to identify and make visible the many connections between humans, place, plants, the built environment, and climate. Mapping Edges is led by Ilaria Vanni and Alexandra Crosby.
Alexandra Crosby is the Associate Head of the School of Design in the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building at UTS, Sydney. She has degrees in Visual Communication and International Studies so her research training is transdisciplinary. She works on expanded notions of design including design activism. As well as Mapping Edges she also works on Repair Design a collaboration with UTS researcher Dr Jesse Adams Stein, which embeds repair practices and designing for zero waste at the core of traditional design disciplines. She publishes in design and humanities journals, including Australian Geographer, Visual Communication, and in Design Issues; She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation; The International Journal of Cultural Studies; and The Australian Journal of Anthropology. She has also contributed to a range of reports that impact industry and government, including Made in Marrickville: Enterprise and cluster dynamics at the creative industries-manufacturing interface, Carrington Road precinct, and Technology and protest in Indonesia for the Global Information Society.
Seoidín O’Sullivan is an artist, arts educator, and interdisciplinary researcher. She has a MA in Fine Art Media from and is Art Lecturer in NCAD’s department of Visual Culture lecturing on Art and Critical Ecology. Seoidín’s projects are collaborative and focus on people joining together in action to protect and develop an aspect of their local commons. Her creative and collaborative practices explore sustainable models within urban ecological contexts to address issues of land use, lost knowledge, social justice and biodiversity. She was awarded an Arts Council Bursary award 2021 and the Next Generation Arts Council Bursary in 2018. She was awarded the Chicago Hyde Park Residency Award with IMMA and Create in 2017. Through a Citizen Artist Award with Common Ground in 2018-20, Seoidín has grafted fruit trees and worked with local groups in Dublin 8 on a shared project of establishing future community orchards through Hard/Graft. Building upon this collaboration, Seoidin and Common Ground partnered with UCD’s School of Geography in Mapping Green Dublin (2019-21), an action project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to map the territories of trees and green space across Dublin 8 by identifying their location, local identity and future creation.
Dr. Eve Olney is a socially engaged artist, activist, curator, educator and practice-based researcher. She completed her practice-based PhD at the Centre for Transcultural Studies and Media Practice (DIT), in 2012. Her praxis incorporates a feminist ethnographic approach to social change through creative methodologies in constructing alternative social imaginaries, in accordance with philosopher and political theorist Cornelius Castoriadis’s conception of the social imaginary. She conceived and leads the collaborative social scheme Art Architecture Activism. She co-produced (with artist Kate O’Shea) the social arts programme SPARE ROOM (funded by Irish Arts Council) from this scheme and the Irish/Athenian social arts project Inhabiting the Bageion: Architecture as Critique, 2017. She currently leads a creative social living, working, learning scheme, called The Living Commons and has five social programmes in development (2021), funded by the Irish Arts Council, entitled Living Commons: Reconfiguring the Social. She is a member of the Transnational Institute of Social Ecology (TRISE), and a founding member of Aesthetix of Empowerment – an international feminist research/training collective. She is a member of Solidarity Network, a network for building an economy based upon co-operation and solidarity and a founder member of Cork Democratic School, a self- directed learning school. Her latest publications can be found in the art research journal Passepartout New Infrastructures: Performative Infrastructures in the Art Field, 2020, and the book, Enlightenment and Ecology – The Legacy of Murray Bookchin in the 21st Century, published by Black Rose Books (2021).
Ilaria Vanni is a writer, researcher, and educator and currently an Associate Professor in International Studies and Global Societies at UTS, Sydney. She lives and works on Gadigal land. Ilaria is motivated to develop critical tools to engage with pressing social and environmental issues. Her work combines feminist, creative and place-based methods and theories from social sciences, humanities, and design studies, to research the social, political, and cultural dimensions of design and material culture. Currently, this overarching interest is enacted in her research in two main themes: Civic ecologies: community, group or individual environmental initiatives that bring together a transformation of and care for place and the environment; Design activism, with a focus on Italy: design practices central in the invention of forms of resilience and resistance. Ilaria publishes regularly in English and Italian in design history and theory, cultural studies and social sciences journals and edited collections. Her book Precarious Objects: Activism and Design in Italy explores the traffic between design and activism in the context of precarity – a social and material condition brought about by the growth of temporary, informal, and irregular work.
The Just City Collective, formed by Just City Counter Narrative Neighbourhood resident Kate O’Shea as part of ‘HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? brings together community workers, artists, activists and researchers from around the world exploring ideas and practices around spatial injustices in multiple cities. Networks of Solidarity is supported by Common Ground’s The Just City – Counter Narrative Neighbourhood Residency 2020 – 2021 which is funded by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council, with additional support from Create.
Common Ground is an arts organisation based in Inchicore, in Dublin’s southwest inner city since 1999. They work to progress a diverse cultural model that embraces the challenging social and economic realities of their neighbourhood locations in Dublin 8 & 12. They maximise their local networks and partnerships and seek to embed the role of the arts as a cultural right. They continue to challenge and change how access to the arts should not depend on where you are born, your wealth or identity. In 2020 they awarded artist Kate O’Shea the Just City counter narrative residency award.