No matter what she does, be it yoga, teaching, or photography, Clare Mulvany radiates energy and optimism. Together with the equally wonderful Kathy Scott, Clare runs The Trailblazery – a collective interested in generating conversations across a wide spectrum of subjects through curated events. The talks and performances have become something of a cult ‘happening’ across the country, as their carefully crafted projects offer a rare oasis of reflection and sharing. Their popularity it would seem lies in the slow-release and lasting impact these events achieve. We heard people raving about their latest project Rites of Passage at the Fringe Festival, so we chased Clare down to ask her a few quick questions.
Describe Rites of Passage and explain why it was divided into Past, Present and Future? Rites of Passage is an excavation and an exploration. The first night was a look back to our ancient past to unearth our wisdom, the second section was looking into key moments in Irish history which have impacted the development of our national psyche over the last 100 years, and the third part is a prospecting of the future- an ushering in of new ideas and possibilities. This trilogy format felt fitting, marking out each Sunday of the Fringe Festival.
What can we expect from the upcoming Rites of Passage Tourguides to the Future? We are bringing a constellation of voices, visions, perspectives and insights into the fray for Sunday’s Tourguides to the Future. We will have speakers from Iceland, Greece, US, Canada, Australia and of course Ireland. We are asking big questions about activism, science, creativity, education, our land, love and hope. We’ll have contributions from people ranging in age from 9-80. We’ll be enchanted with the voice of Ronan O’Snodaigh. Plus we will have about 100 kids from St. Brigit’s School Killester who will be performing with Nina Hynes and a remarkable group of musicians. We suspect there will be some magic in the mix too.
How and why do you think they have impact on people? The Trailblaze nights are an experience – people experience music, performance and live, real and raw insights from some amazing global minds and hearts. Our trailblazers are people who work with integrity and speak from and to that place. Some are familiar voices, but many are not. It is often in the unexpected that the real insights and memories are forged. There is always depth, laughter, spontaneity, sparkling ideas and many people leave they are inspired to move or act in new ways.
What surprised you most about the last two Traliblaze nights? What’s stayed with you? There have been many wonderful surprises over the last two events and so much will stay with me. Seeing the faces of 50 kids singing their souls out with Nina Hynes is a memory that will never leave. I nearly exploded with laughter from the comic genius of Eleanor Tiernan. I was in awe of so many of the speakers who eloquently and respectfully shared testimony of their personal experience from trauma to transformation. It felt like listening to living legends when Mamo Mc Donald, Lelia Doolan and Micheal O’Muricheartaigh spoke of the power of dreaming big and when we had grannies dancing in the aisle of The Pepper Canister church to the electric tunes of Daithi. It has been beyond magic and we are so excited about what is still to come
Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna