Watch: Female activists from Cork honoured with mural on city street

A new mural has popped up on a Cork city street, writes ELAINE DUGGAN, featuring female activists from the county
Watch: Female activists from Cork honoured with mural on city street

Left to right, Ann Lambe, Belinda Walsh, Lucia Parle, Helen O'Keeffe (lecturer), Yana Abramovich and Colette Mulholland beside the mural created by the 'Creativity & Change' course students, at Cove Street, Cork City.

TWO female activists from Cork have been honoured in a new mural on a city street.

Alicia Joy O’Sullivan and Aoife Ni Mhuirchu feature on the mural, at Cove Street, which has been created by students from the Crawford College of Art and Design.

The street art was part of the Creativity and Change course — the core of the course is to explore and address global justice.

The mural depicts a large-scale graphical portrait of each of the Cork women.

Course participant Ann Lambe beside the mural. Picture: Larry Cummins
Course participant Ann Lambe beside the mural. Picture: Larry Cummins

It also includes framed areas where other groups and the public are invited to participate and add their own creative voice.

A quote by American activist Alice Walker also features: “The most common way people give up power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

The inspiring quote was chosen to bring an awareness of local and global issues, and motivate people in the community to act and make change for a better world.

ABOUT THE ACTIVISTS

Aoife Ní Mhurchú, from Ballincollig, is a nurse with Doctors Without Borders. She worked with Medécins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on the Aquarius search and rescue ship in the Mediterranean and was the focal point for vulnerable people who were rescued on board.

Aoife identified and referred people who were unaccompanied minors, victims of torture and those suspected of being trafficked. 

The refugees make life and death choices every day and Aoife continues to carry out her very important work with MSF to rescue vulnerable people who flee from the dangerous situations in their own countries.

Alicia Joy O’Sullivan at the mural on Cove Street.
Alicia Joy O’Sullivan at the mural on Cove Street.

Alicia O’Sullivan is a climate activist and rights campaigner from Skibbereen. She became a prominent voice in Ireland after the first Global Climate Youth Strike and spoke at the Ocean Wealth Summit Conference in Cork city in front of 30 Small Island Nations, the Tanaiste and Former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Alicia has spoken at many prestigious events including the Intergenerational Climate Justice Forum with the President of Ireland.

She is currently involved in developing educational programmes including a Mental Health Event ‘GenZ’ with Healthy Ireland.

Alicia launched the youth manifesto on climate justice in 2020 as a space to engage young people on the importance of global climate and respond to climate change.

WHY CHOOSE THESE WOMEN?

Here, the Crawford students explain why they chose the two women to feature in the art work;

Colette Mulholland, participant in the Creativity and Change course, said: “We all need role models in life to inspire change and show us how our good intentions can become positive actions.

Course participant Colette Mulholland. Picture: Larry Cummins/
Course participant Colette Mulholland. Picture: Larry Cummins/

“I have known Aoife Ni Mhurchu since she was a teenager in Ballincollig and she is a true inspiration — her kindness and deep empathy combines with an inner strength and an unwavering commitment to act for the good of others.”

While Ann Lambe, participant of Creativity and Change, said: “I chose Alicia O’Sullivan for the mural project as I think she is an amazing young activist who is a guiding light on climate change and social issues.

Course participant Yana Abramovich working on the mural. Pictures: Larry Cummins
Course participant Yana Abramovich working on the mural. Pictures: Larry Cummins

“Her activist work provides a voice and a space for young people to respond and act for climate change for future generations.”

AN HONOUR

Commenting on being chosen to feature in the mural, Alicia, 19, said: “Having a mural in my home of Cork is an indescribable feeling, to be recognised and included in such beautiful art and the work of the ‘Creativity and Change’ CIT Project is truly an honour and I want to extend my thanks to the artists and team who were involved in the project.”

ABOUT THE COURSE

Applications are open for the September intake of Creativity & Change ‘21/’22.

This accredited, Special Purpose Award programme targets educators, change-makers, activists, artists, youth and community workers, adult educators, volunteers and anyone who is interested in how creative engagement can nurture global citizenship and empathic action around local and global justice themes.

Course participant Belinda Walsh working on the mural created by the 'Creativity & Change' course students at Cove Street, Cork City.
Course participant Belinda Walsh working on the mural created by the 'Creativity & Change' course students at Cove Street, Cork City.

Based at Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork, Creativity & Change is about creativity and its power to ignite empathy, passion and learning about our interconnected and interdependent world.

Speaking about the course, Ann Lambe said: “I found the creativity and change course to be a great learning experience. We studied different world issues, engaged with nature and the environment and learned about the importance of taking action to protect it.

“We participated in various forms of creativity including street art, forum theatre, and sketch noting and how to apply these skills to create an awareness raising campaign which was an amazing opportunity.

“The creativity and change team are inspirational and this innovative course has changed my perspective to be a more responsible person, and I’m inspired to bring the experience to the wider community.”

Anyone seeking more information can contact helen.okeeffe@cit.ie

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