Children in Mayo to launch their own book, celebrating Traveller culture and identity

Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, TD.

Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, TD.

Today, Friday, April 12, children and their families from Traveller, and other ethnic, and settled communities, will gather at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, to launch a brand new book about their lives and experiences and celebrating their identity.

The book is published by Kids’ Own, in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Scoil Íosa, Ballina and Involve, Ballina, and will be launched by Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, TD.

Developed in response to Travellers’ Journey, a temporary exhibition – currently on display at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life – the book gives voice and expression to children from Scoil Íosa, Ballina and Involve Youth Project, who participated in an eight-week creative process alongside Sligo-based writer, Mary Branley and Mayo-based artist, Cas McCarthy.

The project was managed by children’s arts organisation and publishing house, Kids’ Own, publishing partnership, in collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland, Involve, Ballina and Scoil Íosa.

The book, which aims to reach an audience of children all over Ireland, contains a blend of artwork inspired by the Travellers’ Journey exhibition, conversations with exhibiting artist Leanne McDonagh and the artwork of Michel Basquiat (1960-1987 ) as well as stories and personal reflections developed through dialogues with the writer and artist.

‘This Giant Tent’ is a large-format publication offering an insightful and visually rich collection of the children’s work. It is a unique publication that explores Traveller and other ethnic identities as well as being Irish and from the child’s perspective. This is the latest in a range of books by Kids’ Own exploring Traveller themes, but the first since the ethnic status of Travellers was recognised in Ireland in 2017.

The project was funded by the Department of Justice and Equality, the National Museum of Ireland, the Community Foundation of Ireland and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme.

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