'Plowterin' is Scots/Irish for 'just wandering along slowly and
The 'Talking Stanes' on the Falkland Estate, Fife, Scotland.
Some recent work
Acts of Resilience
‘What do you want
a poet for?
To save the city, of course’ Aristophanes
This project began as a response to questioning whether much of the discourse
about the ‘Troubles’ – the conflict in the North of Ireland – was being dominated by the memoirs
of politicians and by the work of creative artists attracted by stories of major traumatic experiences, like the Hunger Strike
and the Omagh bombing. Gerri was interested in smaller stories, in the everyday stories of how people had survived, found
hope, explored ways to move forward.
She stumbled upon resilience
theory, which is based on the principle that all people have the ability to overcome adversity and to succeed despite it.
It is a strengths and assets based model; it looks at how people support themselves and each other and at the opportunities
open to them to do so, rather than trying only to eliminate those elements which cause failure.
the starting point for ‘Acts of Resilience’, but it soon developed an emergent life of its own. It involved running
workshops in story-telling and writing with adults in a series of workshops for adults in Woodstock Library in East Belfast
and Ormeau Library in South Belfast and for young people from all over the city, with the support of a small voluntary Steering
Group and project partners, LibrariesNI and Opportunity Youth. New poems, inspired by the contributions of workshop participants,
were commissioned from Moyra Donaldson and Damian Gorman and a DVD commissioned from Richard Summerville from Pixelbrix.
The DVD, which reflects the overall creative process and explores the idea of resilience in many different kinds of
moments of crisis, includes the commissioned poems and excerpts of workshop participants’ writing. A small number of
copies of the DVD are available for groups or individuals wishing to develop their own work on resilience.
|Acts of Resilience Poster