Women sharing stories through craft in Dundalk
2015-10-01 13:01:09 -

By Margot Garnier


Sharing memories of different cultures is the aim of the Ethnic Women’s Stories Through Crafts project, launched in Dundalk in 2014 by local community hub Creative Spark.


The project restarted late last month after a successful first experience last year. “All the participants gave very positive feedback of their experiences and felt they had formed a strong bond as a group,” as lead artist and project co-ordinator Sophie Coyle tells Metro Éireann.


In 2014, the initiative gathered eight women from Nigeria, China, America, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. Over 12 weeks, they took part in a ceramics workshop which led to an event through which they shared their experiences with the public.


With a specific focus on peace and integration, the project also brought the women on a trip to visit the political side of Belfast, and also to take in the Asian wholesale food market and a ceramics exhibition at the Ulster Museum.


“The aim of the project is to bring together women from different nationalities and backgrounds to share their stories … and to learn a new skill,” says Coyle, who explains that the initiative “was started as a way of helping people get to know each other and learn about new cultures, and in this way to lead to a more culturally integrated community.


“The project is aimed at women who may be distanced from the workplace or seeking employment, women who have a passion for cooking and creativity, and meeting new people, who are willing to share their stories with others.”


This year, 12 more women – from Nigeria, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Hungary, France, Ireland and the UK – will take part in the three-month project, which will focus on ceramics and cooking, as each workshop session will end with a meal of food brought in by the participants.


To end the project, participants will run a pop-up bistro event in the centre of Dundalk.


“The bistro will serve simple food, free of charge, which we hope will encourage people to sit around, chat and learn about the different cultures living in their town,” says Coyle, who adds that the group will be offering a ceramic class and showing the documentary made during the first year of the project.

TAGS : Ethnic Women\'s Stories Through Crafts Creative Spark Dundalk
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