In 2019 First Fortnight funded a project which saw Geoff Finan (AKA The Poet Geoff) workshop with Pavee Point’s Men’s Health Team and a group of Traveller men. The workshops became quite extensive in researching issues of racism, discrimination, identity, and the impacts it can have on the mental health of a Traveller growing up in Ireland today. It culminated in the poem ‘Gloke’ which is the lived experience of the men in that group. Since then the poem has been used as a catalyst to empower more Travellers to use creativity as a medium in which to express their views. This year the workshops focused on empowering the men to use their own voice and to learn the skills associated with the artform Spoken Word.
Empowered Voices will create an opportunity to reflect on the creative journey of these men and discuss how their engagement has influenced their views on their own mental health. It will also showcase the first performance of the poem “Gloke’ by a Traveller man, Martin Reilly.
Gloke is translated as male Traveller in the language Cant
It Doesn’t’ Matter
“It Doesn’t Matter” is a collaboration between a group of Travellers from Ballyfermot, Finglas and Coolock, Mental Health Services - Exchange House Ireland & Turn 2 Me, film producer Pat Comer of Comer Productions and performance artist & acting coach Sian Ní Mhuirí of Super Paua. This artistic film with a social purpose aims to raise awareness about suicide in the Traveller Community, end the stigma associated with suicide and promote mental health services equipped to help.
After a live performance of Gloke and screening of It Doesn’t Matter, a panel discussion will follow chaired by Geoff Finan with contributions from team members of both projects.