At home in Dublin with Mirko Bonne


Friends of the Goethe-Institut opened their home on Friday, Feb 27th 2015 for Dublin’s Weather Station and visiting writer, Mirko Bonne. Mirko read from Ice Cold Heaven and was joined in panel discussion with Irish writer and playwright Mia Gallagher and Irish Antarctic adventurer Mike O’Shea.  The discussion explored what kind of heroes or heroines we  might need to address the realities of climate change with reference to ‘Boss’ Mirko Bonné’s  fictional personification of Shackleton.

Mia Gallagher’s debut novel HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006) was widely acclaimed and won the Irish Tatler Literature Award (2007). Her short fiction has been published internationally, won the START award (2005) and was shortlisted for Hennessy, Fish and Trevor/Bowen Awards. Extracts from Mia’s second novel have been published in Ireland, the UK, the US and will feature in two anthologies in 2015. These include the anticipated Young Irelanders collection (New Island) edited by Dave Lordan and On Displacement, an Italian-English co-publication with New Island and Guanda, Milan. Mia has received several Bursaries for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland and was writer-in-residence with IADT/dlr Arts Office (2009-2010). She is currently working on a new novel and in spring 2015 she will enjoy a two-month writing residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. Of German and Irish heritage, her work reflects on both cultures. Mia has been facilitating workshops in writing, storytelling and performance since 1997 and also professionally edits, critiques and mentors other writers.

Mike O’Shea began climbing at the age of 13 in the McGillicuddy Reeks near his home in County Kerry. One of the first people in Ireland to gain the Gold Gaisce Presidents Award, he has extensively climbed the European Alps and internationally. Mike has also crossed Lake Baikal in Northern Russia, Chiles North Patagonian Icecap and the Southern Icecap on Kilimanjaro as part of The Ice Project. The summer of 2013 also saw Mike guide seven Irish groups up Kilimanjaro.

Hello from Firhouse Community College, Ireland

Our College, Firhouse Community College, is located at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. It is home to 750 students, from many different faith and ethnic backgrounds. Our uniform consists of a green, V-neck jumper, grey shirt, grey uniform trousers or grey knee length skirt, school tie, black uniform jacket with school crest, and plain black shoes. For sixth years we substitute the grey shirt for a white one, and the green jumper for a black one.

The school has many extra-curricular activities in a couple of areas. For sports, we have soccer, Gaelic football, rugby, hurling, camogie (Uniquely Irish sports), basketball, table tennis and athletics. We also hold educational activities throughout the year such as a French debate team, choir, European studies and quizzes.

We have a green schools committee, made up of students from all different year groups. This committee aims to promote and encourage environmentally friendly behaviour, such as recycling and energy and water conservation.  The school is working hard to be awarded a green flag, an award given to schools for participation in environmental issues.

We began our weather stations project with a writing workshop by Oisin McGann. We learned how to structure stories. We had interesting discussions on how to create a plot and develop characters.

In transition year, we are working on many different projects in our wide range of subjects in regards to the weather stations project. In geography, each student did a project on extreme climate change. In art, the students did a project drawing characters based on a certain weather, and also drew comic strips. In English, we wrote essays and poems about weather and we are now watching a movie “5 degrees below”. We also watch movies that are about natural disasters that occurred because of climate change, such as “Twister” and “The Day After Tomorrow”.  Our music class have recorded weather sounds and are mixing them into sound tracks. We also attended the strange Weather exhibition in Trinity College Dublin. Here the students of trinity had created many different weather instruments that showed the effects of many climate types. We attended an interesting talk in the Civic Theatre about the weather. Our school was recently nominated for The Credit Union Award.

The art students are currently creating a weather display of snow in the school library for the Weather Stations project using trees and artificial snow. We will display all of our work to date before christmas. This will become our space, for our project,so we can add ideas to it and use it as a source of inspiration also.

We are looking forward to hearing about the other schools in the project.

The Transition Year students of Firhouse Community College.

Dublin Substation interactive schools workshops

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Above a selection of images taken during the workshops of Students from Coláiste de hÍde, Firhouse Community College, and Mount Seskin Community College participating in a series of workshops with author Oisin McGann


DUBLIN SUBSTATION: a youth engagement programme of Weather Stations with Tallaght Community Arts begins this August

‘ … with an increasingly young global population it is the youth who by default are the most vulnerable and directly concerned by the threat of climate change’

Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice
Coláiste de hÍde, Firhouse Community College, and Mount Seskin Community College
From August 2014 – September 2015, 200 second-level students and 60 teachers from are members of a dynamic arts and science learning substation that places literature and storytelling at the heart of conversations around climate change.

The project is an arts and education initiative that addresses learning across senior cycle key skills as well as Geography, Arts, English, Foreign Languages, SPHE and ICT.

Working with Tallaght Community Arts and producing partner Collective Action, this substation will collaborate with illustrator and author Oisín McGann. Together, they will explore their responses to existing climate change science and public opinion, by writing and illustrating stories that imagine the future and shape conversations about climate change.

Their work is part of a wider, 18-month long international exchange project called Weather Stations.

In addition to Tallaght Community Arts (Dublin), Weather Stations are based at Free Word (London); internationals literaturfestival berlin (Berlin); Krytyka Polityczna (Warsaw) and The Wheeler Centre (Melbourne).

Like Dublin, each Weather Station has a writer-in-residence that will work with a substation based at a local second-level school. Substations will host visits from the other international writers in residence, connecting them to the creative responses emerging from the work the young people are developing in each city.

Young people and writers from each city will share their emerging creative work over the 18 months via the project

While writers in residence will be producing a body of their own work that reflects how they view our relationship with the environment, young people within each substation will be taking different approaches to how the scientific evidence for climate change might translate into stories that help us imagine How We Might Live In 2050.

The project, which will include a series of public events along with the Substation work, is made possible through support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

Substation Activity Features
The project involves talks and workshops for teachers and students with leading scientists from Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) Geography Department and The Irish Climate Analysis and Research UnitS (ICARUS) NUI Maynooth as well as artists and experts from The Science Gallery based at TCD. There will also be podcasting workshops with Contact Studio (South Dublin County Council Arts Office) with the work created shared on international platforms at ABC, Australia’s public broadcaster and RTE Jr. Students from each school will create stories, films, podcasts, illlustrations and more in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. Firhouse Community College will host its own Weather Station to measure changes in the climate over the duration of the project. Photographer Jonathan Stokes will document the project.

Berlin Summit 2015
In September 2015, five young people from each EU project country will represent their peers at an International Summit in Berlin hosted by project partners, internationales literaturfestival berlin. This event will be led by the young people involved in the Dublin substation.

Young people from Melbourne and our EU partners will join us via the Internet for a wide-ranging debate in which their ‘findings and writings’ will be presented to the public.

Once the school year is complete, members of Dublin Substation will be selected / volunteer for participation in an intensive 2-week summer arts camp to prepare for leading this event in September.

An online anthology of the creative responses of the young people involved along with a photographic narrative of the project will compliment the online anthology of the writer in residence responses to the overall Weather Stations project.

The project is also supported by the Arts Council, South Dublin County Council, Poetry Ireland and the Glashaus Hotel.