This conversation with the Moyross Women's Group took place in the centre in Moyross on the morning of Wednesday 7th November.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss my proposition to make a piece of work with the women in the form of a large banner. I had previously met with Edel Geraghty, the community development worker who coordinates the groups. The basis of the work that I hope to undertake with the women is Article 42.1 of the Irish Constitution, which states as follows:
‘In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. ‘The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to neglect of their duties in the home’
If the reference to women in the home was removed from this article, the principle of the state acknowledging, in law, the invisible labour that supports the common good seems to me to be a valuable recognition.The idea behind the project is to use methods developed by Paulo Freire towards an education of liberation to jointly tease out the unacknowledged and undervalued labour of caring (physically, emotionally, mentally) and to bring those ideas together in the form of a large banner work, that will serve as the backdrop for a series of events in the centenary of the Limerick Soviet (April 15th – 27th). This is not an attitude of ‘bringing’ knowledge to a group, or extracting knowledge from a group. The idea is to work together to make visible something that is generally undervalued, the intrinsic value and contribution of caring to our society. The content, the design and the making will be a shared undertaking, with a view to creating knowledge, sharing knowledge and expanding consciousness of the invisible labour that supports the common good.
Following discussions and explanations about the project, the context (Laboratory of Common Interest, Limerick Soviet) the women agreed to work with me. I explained that I would need to ask for their permission formally in the context of my PhD, Questions regarding confidentiality were raised and I gave my assurance that confidentiality would be rigorously observed.
We will begin working together towards the end of January 2019.