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Travellers celebrated at new Clonakilty event

October 1st, 2021 2:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Six teenage traveller girls and young women are currently working on a film project in West Cork. (Photo: Rosie Kate McCarthy Adair and Toma McCullim)

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WEST Cork Traveller pride will be celebrated at Pride in the Park at Emmet Square in Clonakilty on Saturday October 2nd.

Artist and filmmaker Toma McCullim said they will be showing the internationally award winning film about the traveller community, Float Like a Butterfly, as part of the celebrations, on an open screen in the park.

‘The traveller wagon from that film will be in Clonakilty for the day,’ said Toma, ‘and a number of girls, who are taking part in the latest film project, will be showing some reels from the film they are making.’

She explained that six teenage traveller girls and young women are currently scripting, editing and producing their own film after receiving support from an anonymous donor through the Community Foundation for Ireland.

Toddy Hogan, the female chief executive of the West Cork Traveller Centre, located in Clonakilty, said this is a unique production that aims to give a voice to some of the most marginalised people in the country.

She said Saturday’s event is also unique in that it is the first time that the West Cork Traveller Centre will be hosting a community event, by celebrating Pride in the Park, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Toma said participants are being introduced to every aspect of the art of filmmaking.

‘Girls have been learning about camera, lighting, costume, acting, choreography, hair and make-up, script, song-writing, production design, technical editing, and sound,’ she said.

Some of the creative team working on Graham Norton’s mini-series Holding, as well as a range of other female creative professionals, have been working as mentors on this project and are helping the participants to turn their vision into reality.

Toma, who was the production designer for Float Like a Butterfly, said the project is very exciting, and Saturday’s screening will be a truly ‘proud’ occasion for the participants.

She also paid tribute to West Cork traveller development worker, Charlotte Donovan,  an experienced community collaborative artist.

‘She has been an important link in getting the work done,’ she said.

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