Remembering Dale Farm

The following gives an overview of the latter stages of the 10 year long struggle to halt the eviction of eighty families resident at Dale Farm, Essex.  The eviction went ahead on 19th October 2011.  The article itself has no conclusion – I would have liked to write that the eviction caused such outrage that…

Is our community development effective?

  I watched a programme about effective altruism last night.  The main points discussed were what approaches, and by whom, were most effective.  It got me thinking about the what and who by and for of community development approaches – empowerment, participation and so on. At the core of the altruism debate was funders, who…

Ice Cream for Crow

    Watching a documentary on Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) reminded me that my critical thinking developed against a backdrop of psychedelia, a sub-culture associated not only with psychedelic drugs, imagery and music but also with critical consciousness – a state of mind where ‘the ability to recognise and analyse systems of inequality and…

It’s time

  In the quiet of the night she rises slowly, careful in her movements lest she wake the man.  She moves to the curtainless window looking out to an ink blue sky.  Fiery Mars low in the East.  High above, Ursa Major’s seven stars shine bright in anticipation of the coming blue moon; a portent…

Language matters: Social representations of Gypsy/Traveller women

First published as part of Engender’s F-Words series (July, 2020). In considering the language used to categorise and indeed denigrate Gypsy/Traveller women, an examination of the role of the media in the ‘othering’ or cultural denigration and exclusion of the Gypsy/Traveller community en masse is crucial. Creators of ‘folk devils’ and drivers of moral panics who with “a…

A new normal

The first long, warm evening of the year, we sleep with windows ajar. Drifting into sleep, we are minded that the summer Solstice will soon be upon us and so we will begin the slow descent into the darkness once more.                           Midnight,…

Every wind that blows

The wild Atlantics, scouring the shifting sands of the machair. Redshank and goose, rising in displays of protest and distraction; The eyebrights and forget-me-nots rooting down, steadfast; weathering the storm. Boreas, advancing from the north Wrapped in furs, cold breath shrouding the mountains and carpeting the land; The ptarmigan and mountain hare in winter cloak,…