Two NCAD students Maia Nunes and Leonie Quinn had been visiting the Dun Laoghaire Refugee Project every week in that unquestioning, not-sure-where-this-is-going-but-lets-just-stick-with-it way. They told me about it before Christmas with a view to working together at some point.
In the mean time, Moira Brady Averill hosted an information day about the Direct Provision system in Temple Bar Gallery. I attended with my daughter and so heard the information, the very hard facts, through her extra principled 15 year old ears. It is hard to be a citizen of a country that treats people with such terrible indignity. Somewhere between life and death is Direct Provision. This is our contemporary institutional abuse.
Nobody knows what to do about it. Except create awareness, in different ways. Maia and Leonie decided on food. A lot of people living in Direct Provision have no access to cooking facilities or ingredients. Meals are supplied by multinational catering companies. They invited people they had crossed paths with to come and share a meal in Luncheonette. Those who were interested could come early and help prepare the food (much of which was donated by Avoca). Everyone came early. Our kitchen was filled with emotional joyous chaos. Wagner was his usual monk/magician. Then things got quiet and we all sat down.
Thank you to Maia Nunes and Leonie Quinn for organising this. Alan Gilsenan took these photographs.