Friday, the 4th, starting at 8pm, St. Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall, Carman’s Hall.
Our fourth Seomra Spraoi event: catch up and contribute to social centre project and support the Ploughshares putting the War on Trial for us on the 7th of March Social Centre project feedback session and live music.
Films: Food: Meet: Chat: Music.
The venue is the St Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall, Carman’s Hall (a street running between Francis St and Meath St). Admission free or donation. Proceeds to Ploughshares Defence fund. For more information contact 087-2861238. All welcome.
This Friday, the 28th, starting at 8pm, St. Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall, Carman’s Hall.
There will be a film followed by live Brazilian music and food.
The venue is the St. Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall, Carman’s Hall (a street running between Francis Street and Meath Street). Admission free or donation. For more information contact 0872861238. All welcome.
Film: Raw-Farming: Documentary on Brazilian women’s organic farming movement (courtesy of LASC, details here).
Many readers will be aware of the success of autonomous social centres in other European cities, independent of local authority, church, business or other controlling body. These spaces have provided a focal point for many of the social movements in the West, where public spaces have been eaten away by consumerism, property speculation and the culture of the car.
They celebrate collective cooperation and diversity and have numerous day-to-day uses: community drop-in centre, inexpensive cafe, political meeting space, library, gig venue, arts centre, and internet cafe, to name a few.
Several attempts were made in Dublin in the past couple of years to set up autonomous centres in buildings that had been derelict for years, but these have been evicted by the City Council or by â€œheaviesâ€ employed by the owners. Clearly the Council would prefer to see buildings remain derelict rather than put to any use.
Seomra Spraoi is the provisional name of a collective which has come together to create a social centre space in Dublin.
In early December there was huge response to the call for a gathering to initiate an Autonomous Social Centre in Dublin over a hundred people came and watched films about centres across Europe and chatted over vegetarian food served afterwards, then on the 21st of December we had a well attended gig in the Voodoo Lounge, where fans of both punk and dance were entertained and more funds were raised, how long before we can use/raise that money towards a building is the question.
After the Xmas break we had another meeting in the first week of January to see how far we got with research on the finance and structure of the proposed social centre. We have expanded on our wishlist of functions for the centre and now we have to start making these a reality under one roof. As we organise we coming across the very factors which have made it necessary to take this ambitious project on, small borrowed rooms, restrictions on their use, no consistent place for people to know where we are.
We have been talking to people involved in social centres and how they go about it and making contacts with them and remembering our own experiences on our travels to spaces around Europe and elsewhere. We are still refining the question of what do we want and how do we make it happen within the restriction of doing it the legal way, (Insurance, finance, legal form etc.).
Next we will be concentrating on the search for a location, raising more money and getting more people involved. We are looking for more people or groups who think they could help with the project in any way or possible co-host events of the type that one day may be held in the centre.
There will be a meeting tomorrow evening, Thursday 9th of December 2004 in the Ecological and Environmental Non Governmental Organisations (EENGO) office, 10a Camden Street at 7pm. This office is located upstairs above a shop called Bounty Stores. Just buzz on the button that says EENGO.
The purpose of the meeting is to further discuss the possibilities of starting a social centre in Dublin city.
To date there have been a number of meetings and there was a video screening on the issue held last Friday, December the 3rd.
There have yet been no solid decisions made. All involved have agreed that a space is needed in the city for groups and individuals that wish to organise in an autonomous way. A number of excellent suggestions have been made as to what such a place could be used for eg. occassional cafe, library, meetings, art, printing, music, workshopsâ€¦
There are lots of people interested in getting involved. There are lots of ideas and there is a desperate need for this type of centre. Now what is needed is that we organise, plan and realise the dream!!
This Friday, 3rd December, sees the premiere in Dublin of Six Films About Social Centres â€” a series of short documentaries about autonomous social centres from Belfast to Barcelona. Ideally, this screening should take place in an autonomous social centre, but Dublin has none. (A parish hall is being borrowed for the evening). This will be the first step in an ambitious attempt to establish an independent social centre in Dublin.
Starting at 8pm, there will be a screening, photo exhibition and brief discussion, followed by live music, a DJ and a raffle. The venue is the St. Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall, Carman’s Hall (a street running between Francis Street and Meath Street). Admission free or donation. For more information contact 0872861238. Please come along!
World premiere of films about social centres
The films explore and celebrate the phenomenon of autonomous social centres in Europe, independent of local authority, church, business, trade union or other controlling body. These spaces have provided a focal point for many of the social movements in the West, where public spaces have been eaten away by consumerism, property speculation and the culture of the car.
They celebrate collective cooperation and diversity and have numerous day-to-day uses: community drop-in centre, inexpensive cafe, political meeting space, library, gig venue, arts centre, internet cafe, to name a few.
Usually these social centres begin as squats in derelict buildings and eventually come to be accepted by the local authorities. Unfortunately, Ireland is unique in Europe in that the authorities are utterly intolerant of the tradition of squatting.
So, in a year or two will someone be able to come to Dublin and make a documentary about an autonomous social centre here? Or will fundraiser gigs, political meetings and workshops always have to take place in Teachers’ Clubs or the upstairs rooms of pubs? Will Food Not Bombs always be at the mercy of the weather? Will there be somewhere indoors to go after street parties?
Gathering to discuss development of social centre for Dublin.
Several attempts were made in Dublin in the past couple of years to set up an autonomous centres in buildings that had been derelict for years, but these have been evicted by the City Council or by â€œheaviesâ€ employed by the owners. Clearly the Council would prefer to see buildings remain derelict rather than put to any use.
Seomra Spraoi is the provisional name of a collective which has come together to create such a space in Dublin. Many questions have to be answered on the long road to establishing a social centre in Dublin, for example should it â€“ as a matter of principle â€“ be a squat rather than a rental, with any eviction attempt fought against in the courts, thereby making more of a public issue of it? This is an issue treated in the films.
But at least a start is being made: Friday’s event is an attempt to bring together people who are interested in such a project and hopefully to inspire people through the examples in the documentaries.
Temporary squatted social centre in Leeds, England, December 2003. 10 days & 10 nights. Hundreds of people transform abandoned warehouse into kick-ass space for workshops, discussion, parties, & cafes; chop vegetables & huddle together to keep warm. (12 mins 2004)
Squatted social centre on the outskirts of Barcelona, bringing ideas, skills & technology from the countryside into the city. Sunshine, community gardening, fancy d.i.y. plumbing, & experiments in communal living. Canmasdeu is the squat your grandmother would love. (28 mins 2004)
Three Social Centres in Amsterdam
Does exactly what it says on the tin. A tour of three legalised squats in Amsterdam; the Molli, the Film Academy, & the Binnenpret. Squat actions, children’s theatre & electro-acoustic concerts with musings on the merits & pit-falls of â€˜dealing with the manâ€™. (34 mins 2004)
A Winter Walk Through Christiania
A quiet stroll through the infamous squatted town in Copenhagen; frozen lakes, wooden cottages & winding paths in the brilliant winter sun followed by a raid from the Danish police. (6 mins 2004)
Vegan fries, vegan beer, vegans, & home to veggies the probably the best vegan catering outfit on the planet. The Sumac is a co-operatively owned â€˜Radical environmental community type social centreâ€™ in Nottingham. Some vegetables were cooked in the making of this film. (18 mins 2004)
The Indymedia centre that operated for a couple of weeks around Mayday this year gave many people a glimpse of the great use to which a disused building can be put. It reminded just how badly Dublin lacks an autonomous space.