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Stories of Dublin’s Docks and Dockers

The Stories of Dublin’s Docks and Dockers project is an initiative spearheaded within the partnership of Fighting Words and RCE Dublin. The Dublin Docklands project advances on a previous RCE project entitled: Dublin in the Coming Times (2015-2018) by continuing to recognise the centrality of storytelling in the lives of Dubliners. This project focuses on the often marginalised communities within the docklands, highlighting the manner in which daily life in this area, particularly working lives, has changed completely as Dublin city itself changes and evolves. The aim of this project is to:

  • Document a changing environment, capturing the stories of an entirely changed and changing way of life, that might otherwise be forgotten.
  • Engage citizens of Dublin in discussions around how the city has changed and how it might change the future, including a focus on the effects of this change on communities.
  • Enhance cultural sustainability through documenting and preserving the experiences of a community, ensuring these are accessible to future generations.
  • Facilitate interactions between older and younger citizens by organising intergenerational events where an exchange of experiences and ideas is possible, thus, providing opportunities for younger citizens to learn from what has happened previously in their communities and for older citizens to consider the hopes and dreams of their younger neighbours when it comes to the future of the area.
  • Promote exchanges and discussions between retired dockworkers and other communities who have experienced a similar transformation if their lives and workplaces as a result of technological advances, for example, retired print workers.
  • Publish and exhibit the work created to a wider audience of Dubliners to encourage debate and dialogue about their city as it continues to change, evolve and renew.

Creative workshops were organised for retired dockworkers, and facilitated in such a way so as to allow for the documenting of their stories and experiences using a variety of methods: writing their stories, oral storytelling/histories, visual methods (both creating artwork and using existing images), and use of archival materials. Furthermore, intergenerational workshops were arranged to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences between retired dock workers and children in local schools. The work created in these workshops has been collated, and, through partnership with the Print Museum, will result in a publication and public exhibition in Autumn 2019. The project is being led by Fighting Words, with other RCE Dublin members (such as DCU and An Tasice) partnering in the design and evaluation of the enterprise.

For more information, please contact Dr. Orla Lehane by email on: orla.lehane@dcu.ie

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