COURSE: Decolonisation in Éirinn: Unsettling whiteness on the road to Gaelic cultural & land revitalisation
What does ‘Irishness’ mean, where did the concept come from, and is it something we should hold on to?
How does white supremacy culture operate through all of us to maintain destructive social systems?
Why is whiteness something we should be concerned about in efforts to reconnect with the land and ancient Gaelic ways?
What does it mean to reclaim our ‘indigeneity’ as modern people in white Anglocentric Irish society?
In what ways can we become accountable to our position as both colonised and coloniser in Ireland?
These are some of the questions we will explore throughout this course (and much more!)
ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION: Reclaiming the Silver Branch
- At least one story, folktale, or myth reading accompanied with some discussion and analysis from within decolonial and other critical theory frameworks. The analysis is aimed at being relevant for the current time in navigating climate breakdown and colonial modernity. The stories will be primarily from Irish folklore and mythology, with some others that may make their way in.
- At least one long audio recording from a place of cultural significance in Ireland. This recording has many potential uses. It can be used for your own meditation, contemplation, relaxation, or in helping you to re-connect your senses with sacred places across Ireland.
- At least one ‘audio walk’ where you can listen along as I walk to a place of cultural significance in Ireland. This will usually accompany the longer audio recording of the place as I walk to it.
- Potential other bonus tidbits here and there as they dream themselves into being manifested! This could include pieces of lore, recipes, podcasts, and who knows what else. Your support allows me to spend the time creating this content, so the more support it gets, the more that will make its way into the goodie bag each month.
SEMINAR: Introduction to a decolonial approach to Ireland's ancient culture and landscapes
The seminar is be centred on discussions around the ways in which colonial modernity (as the world system we live within) has disenchanted the world and disconnected humanity from the concept of ‘nature’. In Western colonial culture, ‘nature’ is seen to be out there beyond society, away from humans, as something to be managed and controlled either for resources, development, or conservation. Breaking down this illusion that we are somehow separate from nature, or the land, is a critical task at this juncture for us as a species as we face the growing material realities of our own extinction driven by the unsustainability of our sociopolitical present. Climate breakdown and the global pandemic of COVID-19 have made the deep instability of modern life ever more apparent, with both of these processes being by-products of how global colonial culture treats ‘nature’. As our ancestors’ lifeways were inherently more ‘sustainable’ than ours, establishing a reconnective relationship with them may serve us well as a creative process for re-establishing the community that once existed between people and the living world. This is not to seek a return to the past, but to build from ancient wisdoms in order to shape a society based on values that fundamentally respect and love the Earth and all of the more-than-human worlds around us. In Ireland we are fortunate to have a rich and ancient cultural heritage that has not been so completely lost to the storm of progress and development. We have a choice in how we deal with our ancestral cosmologies: they are not elusive, dead, nor irrelevant. We can position ourselves as part of a continuing ancestral story in dialogue with the many other stories of the land. The task is to find ways of navigating out of harmful modern/colonial thought processes, and remember the ways of attuning our senses to the land through ancestral wisdom.