Context: abortion is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland north and south.
Ireland is the only democracy in the western world to have a constitutional ban on abortion.
This is depressing and oppressive, but people are trying to change things.
The movement to repeal the 8th amendment, which is our constitutional ban on abortion, and make abortion legal in Ireland has been growing hugely over the last few years.
This movement is vibrant and urgent, coloured by righteous anger, people power, protest, and good old fashioned activism.
But it is also coloured by literature and art.
This fight for women in Ireland to rightfully claim their bodily autonomy in the eyes of the law stands on the shoulders of many people who have gone before us, many of whom are still fighting for women’s reproductive rights today.
This fight has created a new energised grassroots movement. All around the country and throughout the diaspora, Irish people and people who have made Ireland their home, are having conversations about how to change things. Protests are growing, groups are forming, for the first time women are opening up about being forced to travel for medical care en masse.
As this movement grows and develops, what’s becoming clear is the amount of amazing art and literature that is being created around it. There are poems and murals, essays and personal testimonies, photography projects and graphic design.
What I want to do with a book about this, is capture this movement, through the literature, personal stories, opinions, photography, art and design that is emerging from it so beautifully, and collect it in an anthology that has never been made before.
Here are three reasons that I think this anthology is worth making.
1. It will feature amazing writers, poets, artists and others that will stimulate and reflect a moment of huge social importance in Irish history.
2. These voices need to be heard. In newspapers and across broadcast media the debate around reproductive rights is a pitched battle. But we know that there is much more nuanced and smart writing there to be heard and collected.
3. In years to come when women in Ireland have bodily autonomy, we will have this book as an archive, a reference point for where the movement was, how it grew, and the dignity and beauty of the art that came from it.
You can help make it happen.
By pledging your support to this project, you’ll help make this anthology come into being, and your support will also earn you exclusive rewards detailed on this page.
You'll also be supporting The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. Once the initial subscription has been raised, then I'll be donating 50% of my profits to them.
This week, the project has tipped over 60% funded which is BRILLIANT. Again, thanks a million, and keep spreading the word. I really appreciate it.
Production-wise, the anthology is motoring along well. I've a bunch of contributors in place, including the amazing SINEAD GLEESON and LISA MCINERNEY who are contributing original pieces of writing to the anthology.
You will know…
Thanks again so much for funding this project. Let's keep going! We're over half way there now, and I'm so grateful to all of you for supporting this. It's natural when loads of people jump on board that the momentum slows a little, but I'm hopeful that you will continue to spread the word.
Behind the scenes, I've been busy recruiting some more amazing contributors for this…
Firstly, and always, thank you so much for supporting this project. Funding is moving along and we are just about at halfway after three weeks, which is fantastic. Please continue to spread the word to as many people as possible who may be interested in throwing a few quid towards getting this book made.
Since the last update, I’ve been speaking with people behind some of…
Thank you so much for supporting this project. In a week and a half, you have contributed so generously, and we are now 40% funded, which is fantastic.
Here's a little update about how the book is progressing, and other #repealthe8th-related things:
1. If you're an Irish Times subscriber or picked up Monday's newspaper, you can read my column about the #Strike4Repeal campaign…
What an amazing start to the funding of this book! Just three days in and we're over 20% already. I can't thank you enough for pledging, tweeting, and posting about the project on Facebook and Instagram, telling people about it, and just in general being so supportive and brilliant about this anthology.
I'll have some more details on the anthology in the next update, but first…
These people are helping to fund Repeal the 8th Anthology.