Funded by Creative Ireland with the support of Carlow Arts Office and the Drummin Bog Project, An Fraughan connected this very special Carlow environment with its surrounding young people through inclusive, participatory arts activities. And now, photos from the children’s creativity, their exhibition in Drummond Hall and Drummin Bog itself have been brought together in eBook form, with a supporting essay by Cathy Fitzgerald. This will be freely available in PDF form (through The Drummin Bog Project website). There will be hard copy books donated to the three schools, and also to the libraries of Borris and Carlow for viewing into the future.
During the ecosocial art project, the children learnt how Drummin Bog is a unique habitat, its importance as a carbon sink, as a wildlife sanctuary – and the urgent need to look after and conserve this unique place that is on our doorstep. Increasing environmental awareness to conserve peatlands and wetland habitats means that Drummin, or “Red” Bog is part of a wider national and international conservation network. For this reason, the launching of the eBook coincides with World Wetlands Day. Held annually on 2nd February, World Wetlands Day celebrates nationally and internationally our waterways, bogs, rushy fields, saltwater marshes and estuaries. These wetlands are vital because they support an immense and diverse ecosystem.
To launch the An Fraughan eBook on World Wetlands Day celebrates our young people and Drummin Bog itself as we look to the future. Additionally, the Drummin Bog project and the An Fraughan project and book also align with key UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN’s newly announced ‘Decade of Ecosystem Restoration’ 2021-2030, of which childrens’ participation is crucial. The UN has recently concluded reaching ‘the SDGs are unlikely to be met unless ecosystem degradation is stopped and ecosystem restoration is undertaken at the immense scale of hundreds of millions of hectares globally (UN Ecosystem Restoration, 2021).
Malcolm Noonan, Green party TD for Carlow Kilkenny and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral reform commented on seeing a preview of the An Fraughan eBook, that:
“In this decade of ecosystem restoration; it is critical that our relationship with the natural world we share with other living things must change.
Central to that change should be the conversations, explorations and experiences we have about and around nature.
The use of collaborative, ecosocial arts practices with the school children of South Carlow around their experiences of Drummin Bog, point a way forward in forging a new and immersive relationship with mother earth.
I am deeply impressed by the outputs of this work and publication and I look forward to the day when I can walk, smell and feel Drummin Bog in person. This is the way we as a community move forward as a partner to and in partnership with nature’.”