There is great excitement in the South Carlow national schools of St. Brendan’s, Drummond, Scoil Moling, Glynn and St. Michael’s, Newtown this week as the “An Fraughan” eBook is launched.
The eBook commemorates the ecosocial art project also called “An Fraughan” that ran in the three schools in 2019.
Funded by Creative Ireland with the support of Carlow Arts Office and the Drummin Bog Project, An Fraughan connected this very special Carlow environment with its surrounding young people through inclusive, participatory arts activities.
And now, photos from the children’s creativity, their exhibition in Drummond Hall and Drummin Bog itself have been brought together in eBook form, with a supporting essay by Cathy Fitzgerald.
This book is freely available in PDF form HERE. There will be hard copy books donated to the three schools, and also to the libraries of Borris and Carlow for viewing into the future. Individual hard-copies of the eBook may also be ordered online HERE if required.
During the ecosocial art project, the children learnt how Drummin Bog is a unique habitat, its importance as a carbon sink, as a wildlife sanctuary – and the urgent need to look after and conserve this unique place that is on our doorstep.
Increasing environmental awareness to conserve peatlands and wetland habitats means that Drummin, or “Red” Bog is part of a wider national and international conservation network
For this reason, the launching of the eBook coincides with World Wetlands Day. Held annually on 2nd February, World Wetlands Day celebrates nationally and internationally our waterways, bogs, rushy fields, saltwater marshes and estuaries.
These wetlands are vital because they support an immense and diverse ecosystem. To launch the An Fraughan eBook on World Wetlands Day celebrates our young people and Drummin Bog itself as we look to the future.
Additionally, the Drummin Bog project and the An Fraughan project and book also align with key UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN’s newly announced ‘Decade of Ecosystem Restoration’ 2021-2030, of which children’s participation is crucial.
The UN has recently concluded reaching ‘the SDGs are unlikely to be met unless ecosystem degradation is stopped and ecosystem restoration is undertaken at the immense scale of hundreds of millions of hectares globally’ (UN Ecosystem Restoration Decade exec. statement, 2021).
Malcolm Noonan, Green party TD for Carlow Kilkenny and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral reform commented on seeing a preview of the An Fraughan eBook, that:
“In this decade of ecosystem restoration; it is critical that our relationship with the natural world we share with other living things must change. Central to that change should be the conversations, explorations and experiences we have about and around nature. The use of collaborative, ecosocial arts practices with the school children of South Carlow around their experiences of Drummin Bog, point a way forward in forging a new and immersive relationship with mother earth.I am deeply impressed by the outputs of this work and publication and I look forward to the day when I can walk, smell and feel Drummin Bog in person. This is the way we as a community move forward as a partner to and in partnership with nature’.”
An Fraughan was funded by Creative Ireland 2018/2019, with the kind support of Carlow Arts Office and The Drummin Bog Project.
With grateful appreciation to Sinead Dowling, Creative Ireland Programme Coordinator and County Carlow Arts officer, to Aileen Nolan, Creative Ireland Carlow Project Assistant and to the Carlow Arts Office team.
The Drummin Bog Project also wishes to thank
artists Annabel Konig and Emma McGrath who joined Jules Michael in the schools; and also to the committee members of The Drummin Bog Project for their help throughout. The ecological consultant on the committee, Lisa Dowling, had conducted a botanical survey of Drummin Bog in 2016. Details from her report were used in some of the botanical texts here, Lisa kindly checked details were correct.
This book was edited and designed by Jules Michael. Images for the An Fraughan exhibition and Newtown School’s visit to Drummin Bog courtesy of Cathy Fitzgerald, the remainder courtesy of Jules Michael.
A particular thank you to Cathy Fitzgerald for her supporting overview in the editing of this book. Her theoretical knowledge and her many generous conversations throughout anchored and underpinned the entire ecosocial art project of An Fraughan.
The principals of the three primary schools – Anne Boland, Sinead Murphy and Laura Lanigan – along with teachers Aine Dunne, Luke Grennan, Nicola Kavanagh, Cathy Maher, Sarah McCabe, Laura Moore, SNAs Olivia Ferry and Elaine Power, and secretaries Aine Lawlor, Catherine Lennon and Helen McDonald – welcomed us with such warmth and generosity into their classrooms throughout the project.
Finally, An Fraughan could not have been created without the engagement, fun and creativity of the fantastic young people of all three schools.