11 migrant women share their stories of activism in Ireland as part of new arts project

The Immigrant Council of Ireland has launched a new project aiming to give migrant women a voice and share their stories of activism in Ireland.

The Library of Migrant Women is a participatory arts project featuring a collection of 11 stories, written by well-known and emerging female migrant activists in Ireland about the social issues that affect them and their work to transform their life and the lives of those around them. The stories explore topics including voters’ education, anti-racism and community health care.

The 11 women participating in the project represent diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, sexuality, and religion.

Following the official launch of the project at the Irish Writers Centre on Wednesday (14.09.22), the stories will now all be available online on the Immigrant Council’s website.

The project was the brainchild of Teresa Buczkowska, Integration Manager at the Immigrant Council, and came to life as part of her Fellowship at the Social Change Initiative. Commenting on the project, Teresa said: “It was important that we could tell our stories in our own words. Prevalent public narratives about migrant women present us either as victims or villains; stories of leadership and resilience are seldom told. The Library of Migrant Women project helps us to reclaim the public discourse that defines us and our existence. We are telling stories that we want to tell, and we are telling them from our perspective and in our own words.”

Teresa closely collaborated with a poet, translator, visual artist, and educator Oana Sânziana Marian on the delivery of the project. Also commenting, Oana said “Migrant women’s activism in Ireland is rich, multi-layered and ubiquitous in all sectors of society. However, migrant women’s existence in Ireland is a contested subject, and an object of a societal battle about agency, visibility and recognition. Part of that conflict is about who is telling stories of migration, how these stories are told, and which ones are heard.”

The project was made possible with the financial support of the Social Change Initiative and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (The Community Integration Fund).

Full details of the participants and their stories can be found on the Immigrant Council’s website here.

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