Trinity College Dublin: RISING brings climate action to Dublin’s Docklands community

Residents from Pearse Street, Dublin’s Docklands and Ringsend took to the stage at the Lir Academy last night, delivering an emotive presentation on their insights and experiences of local actions on climate change [April 6 2022].

The initiative is one of a series of community projects that Trinity College Dublin is facilitating in the Grand Canal Innovation District

The diverse group had participated in regular RISING creative climate action workshops since November 2021, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and Brokentalkers Theatre company.

As a result, a number of actions were taken; participants started an “edible garden” in Ringsend, planting items such as parsley, chives and other herbs which will be freely available for neighbours to use.

Others prioritised litter and recycling around the Grand Canal and others focused on lobbying employers to make sustainable choices.

Participant Una Whitney said:

As somebody who lives near the Grand Canal, I feel strongly about the litter problem. This is directly linked to the environment and climate change because by throwing plastic away, rather than recycling it, this leads to more new plastic being made. It also adds to the pollution of the waters. RISING has allowed me to meet like-minded neighbours who care about this issue and I feel together we can be more effective in campaigning for better recycling and cleanliness in the area. I’ve really enjoyed meeting as a group and doing some creative writing facilitated by Brokentalkers. I think it’s great that Trinity College is working with the community on projects like this.


Participant Manuel Salazar said,

I have been a climate activist for many years, but I haven’t been involved in a creative project like this, focused on local issues and actions. It has allowed me to understand the community’s concerns about the environment and their desire for climate action. The sense of urgency is there, I could feel it in this art project, we all want a better future for next generations and there’s no better place to start that our own community.

Feidlim Cannon, co-Artistic Director of Brokentalkers, said,

Gary [Keegan]and I have really enjoyed working with local residents and Trinity to explore the complexities of climate change through a variety of creative means. Over the last three months, there has been a fantastic sense of engagement from participants. This project has been an eye opener for us as artists. We can see the artistic potential of community action around the subject of climate change. The passion and commitment of the participants had produced wonderful moments to clarity and honesty fused with a sense of play. We look forward to continuing along this path with the group, bringing others from the community on board and finding more ways of making positive change on climate and sustainability through creative engagement with the communities of Pearse Street, Grand Canal Docks and Ringsend.

The weekly meetings took place in Unit18, Trinity College’s community space at its Trinity East campus, with guest speakers including Prof Quentin Crowley, Dr Zoe Roseby, Michelle Hallahan, David Hackett and Trevor Woods from Trinity, as well as local resident Joe Donnelly from the Ringsend and Irishtown Sustainable Energy Community.

Unit18 will be available to the group to continue to meet and work together into the future.

A second performance takes place at the Lir on Wednesday April 6.

RISING is a recipient of the inaugural Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications that supports creative, cultural and artistic projects to build awareness around climate change and empower citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations.

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