This interview seems particularly poignant to be publishing on AntiRacismDay 21st March, 2o21 given Denise’s strong desire to centre those who still suffer the worst impacts of past and current Colonialism. If you want to find out more about BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour) organisations you might find this website and its links helpful. In Ireland MASI (the Movement for Asylum Seekers in Ireland, and migrant rights and related women’s organisations are good places to start. As is this new Travelling Community Teaching resource which is filled with amazing links for
Illustrator and Tattoo artist Denise (they/she) talks about their journey to a small-holding “in the middle of know where” in Tipperary. Almost financially inaccessible to a combined budget with their partner. They got it “cheap” because it had a cottage ruin and had been used as a dump by farmers for years. They tell of the lengths they are willing to go to deal with rubbish to let the land breath again.
Denise tells a powerful story starting with their childhood love of nature, through grief, anger and eco-anxiety as they are witness to nature’s destruction and how that drove them to find community alternatives in punk, anti-capitalist, DIY anti-consumerism, and anarchist groups and more recently in permaculture.
Denise came to permaculture cautiously but with the willingness to be part of the conversation if it examines its position in white middle class and its historical links to white males and their codification of indigenous wisdom. Recognising and openly looking at this strong echo of Colonialism (as is true for all groups), they think would help help save much that is good in permaculture for use in communities. They took part in the Carraig Dúlra PDC in 2018 to test the waters to see if their sense that some people were willing to go deep into their examination of privilege and the legacy of Capitalism and Colonialism and they have been part of the community and a visiting tutor every since.
They feel strongly that Colonialism has impacted our relationships with everything and everyone. Denise wishes to see those still experiencing the worst impacts of colonialism today the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) in the centred in these conversations.