The Freedom Project
The Freedom Project was presented by The Trailblazery on Easter Monday, 2017.
This learning experience incorporated a series of conversations and performances titled Pathways to Freedom at Newman University Church and culminated in a grand finale SAOIRSE | FREEDOM at the historic landmark building Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Ireland. We invited a host of artists, musicians, performers, activists and thinkers to decode the questions and answers at the heart of cultural (r)evolution. These trailblazers are pioneers of the human spirit who gathered together to share their stories of sovereignty, sing their songs of freedom and ultimately reveal what lies beneath our shared human beingness….
We set out to explore what freedom means to us today as individuals, as families, as nations and as world citizens living in extreme times. Freedom is a burning issue on the world stage right and we wanted to explore how we can reclaim our humanity in complex times. Our collective wounds have been exposed and the core human issues of cultural identity; gender, race and religion vie for attention in the spectre of populism, polarization and the rising power of a post–truth society.
So, what does it mean to be free? What is driving our human race? What does the future hold for us as “ancestors in training”?
In times like this we need stories to transport us to new realms so that we can imagine absolute freedom. Our human challenge is to fully participate in these new realms so that we can become co-creators of the future. As novelist Zora Neale Hurston once said: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer them”.
The Pathways to Freedom conversation + performance series invited a host of creative thinkers to explore Freedom from many perspectives including Sunny Jacobs (Human Rights Activist and Death Row Exoneree), Ruairí McKiernan (Hitching for Hope Social Campaigner), Raoul Martinez (Philosopher, artist and filmmaker - Creating Freedom), Manchán Magan (Author, playwright), Noeline Kavanagh (Artistic Director MACNAS), Ruth Meehan (Filmmaker, Writer) , Mary Kate O Flanagan (Story Consultant, Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth), Ivor Brown (Retired Irish psychiatrist, author, former Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board, and Professor emeritus of psychiatry at University College Dublin) and Kathy Scott (Creative Director of The Trailblazery) with live musical performance from Susie Q and Margie Jean Lewis
Pathways to Freedom was created in partnership with Cruinniú na Cásca, a Creative Ireland initiative presented by RTÉ.