Brexit Bamboo: Crafting new approaches.
Rural Community Network in partnership with Beyond Skin engaged with people across Northern Ireland to explore the implications of Brexit for rural areas and to identify what needs to be in place to support rural communities to thrive in the future.
We used creative engagement techniques through the use of Bamboo to get people making while they talk. These craft and chat engagement sessions informed a range of rural stakeholders to think about the future of rural communities across the region and identify key priorities for rural development in the next decade.
Bamboo is a grass and one of the most versatile & successful species of plant on earth as well as one of the fastest growing in the world. It’s composition and cell structure make it an incredibly versatile raw material, having multiple to make shelter, paper, furniture, food and tools also give us music. As Humans we need to adapt to changes that come our way and in some cases be durable. We can learn a lot from Bamboo and those who use it around the world to sustain and develop their communities.
Beyond Skin Bamboo Crafts facilitated by Mauricio Velazsierra, Gary McIlwaine & Victor Henriquez. This project was funded by Building Change Trust.
For over sixteen years Beyond Skin have been developing and delivering creative projects locally and internationally that bring people together from diverse backgrounds in an aim to address racism and sectarianism.
It is about celebrating and understanding diversity and diversity to us means EVERYONE. It is being inclusive, welcoming and ensuring we create space and build bridges to enable opportunities for people to learn about each other and work through differences.
Over the fifteen years we have gathered a strong reputation of developing and delivering high quality innovating projects and initiatives than make a positive contribution in the lives of people and their communities. This has solely been possible due to the diverse professional passionate team of artists, educators, facilitators, technicians and volunteers that work not for us but WITH us. To date we have worked with a team representing roots in over 50 countries.
Diversity doesn’t stop there. We have a team representing many religions, beliefs and traditions; we have atheists and we have people with agnostic views; we have mothers, fathers, people with no dependants; people of different sexual persuasion; vegans, vegetarians and some who love a barbecue. We have people who support a variety of sport and teams; people who love different genres of music. We have people of all abilities with some having the ability to end an argument and some the ability to start one. We have an intergenerational team of dreamers, realists, cyclists, anthropologists and people who photographically remember all items on a shopping list.
AND we have people who voted to remain in the EU and some who voted to leave.
We have always welcomed people into our team and encouraged them to celebrate, share and practice their beliefs and culture – as long as it is done in a peaceful way that respects the beliefs and culture of others they work with.
Although within our team some may differ strongly on politics and beliefs, what we are extremely proud of as an organisation is that our team work brilliantly TOGETHER delivering activities that bring people together to gain a greater understanding of difference of our shared planet (home). For us it has always been about uniting people.
For those who know us well you know we have never been afraid to shake the tree., and on many occasions challenge the hands who feed us (some funders) - but the intention of this cheeky personality of the organisation has always been to generate debate without the hate. We all may disagree on some things, but we have much more in common.
Brexit has been demoralising and incredibly frustrating for everyone (remainers & leavers).
Beyond Skin will as always continue to address division and hate, striving for a more peaceful society where people can freely be an individual but part of it all at the same time. Nurturing unity in the diversity is what we do best. Let’s be honest - no one know what lies beyond.. Whatever the social impact we are ready if needed to work harder to make it better.
Of course Individuals and partners who work with us have every right to take part in events, campaigns or peaceful protests. It is their personal choice.
Peace & Love - Beyond Skin