I was really delighted and surprised to have my talk in Hollywood so enthusiastically received last Saturday during the 1st Blackstairs Rural Film Festival. I was expecting 15 but we were a group of 24 in the end!

The light was just fading but I was so delighted to hold a conversation about

Gathering under the trees at Hollywood, South Carlow, Ireland, during the 1st Rural Blackstairs Film festival. I was delighted to hold a space for conversation about why transforming conifer plantations is such a rich and valuable means to relate and act more sustainably to our environments. Photo: Gwen Wilkinson.

What made the event special was the diversity of interests and experience in the people attending: a forester, a local forest owner, a 4th generation woodworker, arts officers, artists, curators, gardeners, a teacher, a former local councillor and just the very curious. This mirrors the cross-disciplinary aim of my project, that we need to hold spaces for many perspectives, other than just science, to advance learnings for eco-social change.

However, it was a real challenge for me to plan a talk through Hollywood as this project has been developing along many different strands since 2008 and I knew my audience would be varied. I decided to stop in several places in Hollywood (it has several distinct areas of forest transformation) to discuss some of the insights from ‘chapters’ in my draft audiovisual ebook and I shared a couple of the short films too. Martin gave a lot of wonderful support as always and “Kiwi Sean” Hoskins (our forest contractor) also gave practical insights about how he transforms conifer plantations such as Hollywood. All in all, it was a lot of fun and great to begin to share the Hollywood ‘story’ with my local community, right in Hollywood (with Holly in charge of course!).

Many thanks again to Orla Ryan for seeing the potential of my sharing my short films (embedded in my ebook) during the Blackstairs Rural film festival (which was a great success). Its truly been the most meaningful presentation I have made of the Hollywood project so far. Hope you like the photos below – my special thanks to local photographer Gwen Wilkinson who took them at short notice.

Any comments welcome!

8 thoughts on “Live at Hollywood during the Rural Blackstairs Film Festival 2014

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