Gals Gig for Repeal: “A magical evening”

Two communities of young creative people join forces together and created such an attractive occurrence. Gals Gig for Repeal, which takes place in the centre of Dublin tomorrow, is an event full of music and discussion. Organizer is Eight Stories, which asked for a help community In Place to use their spaces.

IN PLACE is a project founded by Nichol Gray in January 2016. They began as a small group of like-minded people who wanted to make a statement about the potential reuse of Dublin’s vacant spaces. With time they have grown to a small community of artists and creatives all working toward the same goal, to change the way we view disused urban space.

Young women Hazel Shaw and Naomi Phillips, heads of a pro-choice campaign Eight Stories said us: “We came into contact with IN PLACE, saw the vacant Tara Street building they were using, and asked to use it for a popup event in aid of the pro-choice movement. The curator Nichol very kindly accommodated us. We received an amazing response and instantly gained the support of many musicians, artists, and activists, each offering their time without hesitation.”

Could you shortly introduce your project Eight Stories?
Hi there, we’re Hazel and Naomi, we run a small pro-choice campaign called Eight Stories since August 2016. We aim to communicate people’s experiences of the limitations of the eighth amendment in Ireland. This experience is not restricted to the women who are forced to travel every day, but has a ripple effect on those surrounding them and society as a whole. As gals growing up in this society we felt frustrated at the lack of basic human rights that women are given, and decided to channel our creative energy towards a campaign for change. This has resulted in the stories we have shared through the old-school medium of prints and wheat-paste, using graphics with snippets of stories aiming to provoke thought and start conversations on the issue of abortion.

Say something more about yourself. Is something in your life what induced you to to start this campaign?
Hazel Shaw: I finished Trinity college last year. I was doing History and English. Then I just taking on the working staff and I am going to master this year.

One thing that made me to do something was the Marriage Equality campaign last year. Me and my friend voted yes but we didn’t do anything more for it. We started to think and we told that we should start to do something. We have so many creative talented friends around. We decided to start with something artistic focused on women. We wanted to tell people stories. Even about how you growing up in the Ireland.

With whom do you cooperate in this campaign?
Since the beginning of this campaign, we have found ourselves in an instant community of support. From the very first nervous tweets and instagram posts, we have received an influx of positivity and solidarity. So many people have been willing to offer their time and energy to us and to the cause in general, and we look forward to the much future collaboration that may come from this community.

Now you are preparing the last things for the event Gals Gig for Repel. What is it about? What is a mission, the purpose?
Ultimately, the purpose of our project and this event is to raise awareness of the urgency of the campaign to repeal the eighth. Unlike most of the pro-life organisations, pro-choice campaigns receive very little external funding, so this event came about from a practical need to raise both funds and awareness. This is also a celebration of the wealth of inspiring women fighting for change in Ireland today; it’s amazing to be able to bring together so many of these gals in one room at one time.

Did you get in troubles with something during organizing? Did you need some permissions etc.?
We were very fortunate to have found IN PLACE and to have been given a vacant space with such potential to work with. Nichol and the team paved the way for us in hosting this event, and have let us do our own thing with the space which has been really great.

Could you present us something from your programme? What we can look forward to?
We have such an amazing line-up, we’ve been fangirling over our acts all week! We’re incredibly excited that Ailbhe Smyth will be opening the evening for us, as she has been campaigning for women’s rights since the ‘70s and is a truly amazing woman. We have also great music artists, 5 bands. For example big band called HAWK. We have a couple of spoken words, writers as Alicia Byrne Keane or Ailish Kerr. We’re all in for such a treat with the lineup, from the talented gals performing music and spoken word to the fab artists creating original artworks in response to the repeal campaign. It’s going to be a magical evening!

Are you working on something else?
Well our primary focus is getting stories onto the streets of Dublin and soon further afield. We’re currently sifting through submissions and preparing for the release of the second story. We’ve a few more event ideas up our sleeves, watch this space! We are also a part of an event March for Choice that is next Saturday the 24th.

Hazel Shaw: I’m also helping Nichol Gray and making a book about IN PLACE. We wanted to make something remarkable. We are putting together some essays. People sometimes just come to see the exhibition, some nice art but they don´t know more about it. We want to make people more get really into to find out something about history, background.

Gals Gig for Repeal starts tomorrow at 6.30pm in 12 Tara Street. Girls disclose that they have some special treats for the early birds, so the sooner you get down the better.

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Sabina Šrámková
Sabina Šrámková

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