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Sep 7

NOT AT HOME: Open Letter Inviting TDs and Senators to Hear The Stories of Women Who Have Travelled For Abortion

by Project Manager

We are inviting all TDs and Senators to attend ‘NOT AT HOME’ in the NCAD Gallery, on Thomas Street in Dublin, as part of this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. NOT AT HOME is a durational art campaign by Emma Fraser (Nine Crows) & Grace Dyas (THEATREclub), to make visible the experiences of women who travel abroad to access safe abortion services, to highlight the consequences of Ireland’s abortion laws, and to bring women who have travelled together in solidarity.

Since April 2016, we have been collecting anonymous testimonies from women online. We now have a crowd-sourced text of these women’s experiences of travelling abroad. In June 2017, we visited BPAS Merseyside in Liverpool. From these texts and our experience of recreating this journey, we have created a durational art work featuring video, sound installation and live performance.

As this installation is formed from an archive of Irish women’s lived experiences, we feel it would be of significant value to the ongoing conversation about abortion in Ireland, for all of those who will ultimately frame this discussion for the Irish people, to hear these stories and reflect on the gravity of their responsibilities in this matter.

With this intention, and further to our private invitation to them last week, we are asking for your help in encouraging all TDs and Senators — regardless of their current views on this issue — to attend NOT AT HOME. The installation is free to attend and will run from 5pm — 9pm on Thursday 14th & Friday 15th September and from 12pm-6pm on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th in the NCAD Gallery on Dublin’s Thomas Street.

This exhibition is neither designed to cater to one view or another, nor to influence our audience’s views in anyway. All that we hope to achieve is to create a calm, reflective space in which the experiences of women who have travelled to access abortion services, can be heard, especially by those who have the power to shape these experiences in the future.

 

Text of this invitation can be found below:

A Theachta/A Sheanadóir, a chara,

I write to you today as as a constituent and as a citizen of Ireland.

Since April 2016, NOT AT HOME have been collecting anonymous testimony from Irish women online as part of a project to collect, represent and make visible every story and every experience of the, at least, 170,216 Irish women who have travelled abroad to access abortion services.

This project will first be presented in the Gallery space of the National College of Art and Design between 14–17 September of this year, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2017. As public representatives, legislators and citizens of this country, I would like to encourage you to view the installation, to hear these women’s stories and to better comprehend the consequences of our current abortion laws.

As the conversation around abortion access gets closer to a referendum next year, the divide between those on both sides has continued to deepen. As that gap widens, the space for calm and thoughtful articulation of women’s lived experiences gets smaller and smaller. NOT AT HOME is an attempt to reclaim some of that space for the thousands of women who have travelled.

The piece will be accessible to those on all sides, those who are still undecided and those who currently feel unequipped to make an informed choice. This is not an attempt to preach to the converted, nor to shame anyone into taking a liberal position. In acknowledgement that the issue is complicated and complex, I simply hope that viewing this work will give you the opportunity to view women’s real, lived experiences in a quiet, reflective forum.

Therefore — no matter your current views on this issue — I believe it would be of significant benefit, to you and to the country as a whole, to hear these women’s stories and to reflect on the power with which you have been entrusted to shape these experiences in the future.

The installation is free to attend and will run from 5pm — 9pm on Thursday 14th & Friday 15th September and from 12pm-6pm on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th. If you would like to attend, please respond to notathomeireland@gmail.com.

Mise le meas,

XXXXXXX

 

The email addresses of all TDs’ who have not yet replied, can be found here:

anne.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie billy.kelleher@oireachtas.ie catherine.murphy@oireachtas.ie clare.daly@oireachtas.ie hildegarde.naughton@oireachtas.ie james.browne@oireachtas.ie jan.osullivan@oireachtas.ie jonathan.obrien@oireachtas.ie lisa.chambers@oireachtas.ie louise.oreilly@oireachtas.ie mattie.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie peterm.fitzpatrick@oireachtas.ie ruth.coppinger@oireachtas.ie aindrias.moynihan@oireachtas.ie alan.farrell@oireachtas.ie alan.kelly@oireachtas.ie andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie barry.cowen@oireachtas.ie bernard.durkan@oireachtas.ie bobby.aylward@oireachtas.ie brendan.griffin@oireachtas.ie brendan.howlin@oireachtas.ie brendan.smith@oireachtas.ie brendan.ryan@oireachtas.ie brian.stanley@oireachtas.ie caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie carol.nolan@oireachtas.ie catherine.byrne@oireachtas.ie catherine.martin@oireachtas.ie charles.flanagan@oireachtas.ie charlie.mcconalogue@oireachtas.ie ciaran.cannon@oireachtas.ie colm.brophy@oireachtas.ie damien.english@oireachtas.ie danny.healy-rae@oireachtas.ie dara.calleary@oireachtas.ie dara.murphy@oireachtas.ie darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie david.cullinane@oireachtas.ie david.stanton@oireachtas.ie declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie denis.naughten@oireachtas.ie denise.mitchell@oireachtas.ie dessie.ellis@oireachtas.ie donnchadh.olaoghaire@oireachtas.ie eamon.ocuiv@oireachtas.ie eamon.ryan@oireachtas.ie eamon.scanlon@oireachtas.ie enda.kenny@oireachtas.ie eoghan.murphy@oireachtas.ie eugene.murphy@oireachtas.ie fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie finian.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie fiona.oloughlin@oireachtas.ie frances.fitzgerald@oireachtas.ie frank.orourke@oireachtas.ie gerry.adams@oireachtas.ie gino.kenny@oireachtas.ie heather.humphreys@oireachtas.ie helen.mcentee@oireachtas.ie imelda.munster@oireachtas.ie jack.chambers@oireachtas.ie jackie.cahill@oireachtas.ie james.lawless@oireachtas.ie jim.daly@oireachtas.ie jim.ocallaghan@oireachtas.ie joan.burton@oireachtas.ie joan.collins@oireachtas.ie joe.carey@oireachtas.ie joe.mchugh@oireachtas.ie John.brady@oireachtas.ie john.brassil@oireachtas.ie john.curran@oireachtas.ie john.deasy@oireachtas.ie john.halligan@oireachtas.ie john.mcguinness@oireachtas.ie johnpaul.phelan@oireachtas.ie josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie kathleen.funchion@oireachtas.ie kevin.moran@oireachtas.ie kevin.okeeffe@oireachtas.ie leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie marc.macsharry@oireachtas.ie marcella.corcorankennedy@oireachtas.ie margaret.murphyomahony@oireachtas.ie maria.bailey@oireachtas.ie martin.ferris@oireachtas.ie martin.heydon@oireachtas.ie martin.kenny@oireachtas.ie mary.butler@oireachtas.ie marylou.mcdonald@oireachtas.ie mary.mitchelloconnor@oireachtas.ie maurice.quinlivan@oireachtas.ie michael.collins@oireachtas.ie michael.creed@oireachtas.ie michael.fitzmaurice@oireachtas.ie michael.harty@oireachtas.ie michael.healy-rae@oireachtas.ie michael.lowry@oireachtas.ie michael.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie michael.moynihan@oireachtas.ie michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie michael.ring@oireachtas.ie michael.darcy@oireachtas.ie micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie mick.barry@oireachtas.ie mick.wallace@oireachtas.ie niall.collins@oireachtas.ie niamh.smyth@oireachtas.ie noel.grealish@oireachtas.ie noel.rock@oireachtas.ie paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie pat.breen@oireachtas.ie pat.buckley@oireachtas.ie pat.casey@oireachtas.ie pat.deering@oireachtas.ie patthecope.gallagher@oireachtas.ie patrick.odonovan@oireachtas.ie paul.kehoe@oireachtas.ie paul.murphy@oireachtas.ie peadar.toibin@oireachtas.ie pearse.doherty@oireachtas.ie peter.burke@oireachtas.ie regina.doherty@oireachtas.ie richard.boydbarrett@oireachtas.ie richard.bruton@oireachtas.ie robert.troy@oireachtas.ie roisin.shortall@oireachtas.ie seamus.healy@oireachtas.ie sean.barrett@oireachtas.ie sean.canney@oireachtas.ie sean.crowe@oireachtas.ie sean.fleming@oireachtas.ie sean.haughey@oireachtas.ie sean.kyne@oireachtas.ie sean.ofearghail@oireachtas.ie sean.sherlock@oireachtas.ie shane.cassells@oireachtas.ie shane.ross@oireachtas.ie simon.coveney@oireachtas.ie simon.harris@oireachtas.ie stephen.donnelly@oireachtas.ie thomas.byrne@oireachtas.ie tommy.broughan@oireachtas.ie thomas.pringle@oireachtas.ie timmy.dooley@oireachtas.ie tom.neville@oireachtas.ie tony.mcloughlin@oireachtas.ie willie.odea@oireachtas.ie willie.penrose@oireachtas.ie

 

Those of all Senators who have not yet replied, can be found here:

victor.boyhan@oireachtas.ie trevor.oclochartaigh@oireachtas.ie tim.lombard@oireachtas.ie terry.leyden@oireachtas.ie rose.conwaywalsh@oireachtas.ie ronan.mullen@oireachtas.ie robbie.gallagher@oireachtas.ie ray.butler@oireachtas.ie paul.gavan@oireachtas.ie paul.daly@oireachtas.ie paul.coghlan@oireachtas.ie paudie.coffey@oireachtas.ie padraig.oceidigh@oireachtas.ie padraig.maclochlainn@oireachtas.ie paddy.burke@oireachtas.ie ned.osullivan@oireachtas.ie neale.richmond@oireachtas.ie michelle.mulherin@oireachtas.ie michael.mcdowell@oireachtas.ie maura.hopkins@oireachtas.ie martin.conway@oireachtas.ie mark.daly@oireachtas.ie marielouise.odonnell@oireachtas.ie maria.byrne@oireachtas.ie maire.devine@oireachtas.ie lorraine.cliffordlee@oireachtas.ie kieran.odonnell@oireachtas.ie kevin.humphreys@oireachtas.ie keith.swanick@oireachtas.ie john.omahony@oireachtas.ie john.dolan@oireachtas.ie joe.oreilly@oireachtas.ie joan.freeman@oireachtas.ie jerry.buttimer@oireachtas.ie jennifer.murnaneoconnor@oireachtas.ie  james.reilly@oireachtas.ie ivana.bacik@oireachtas.ie grace.osullivan@oireachtas.ie gerry.horkan@oireachtas.ie gerard.craughwell@oireachtas.ie gerald.nash@oireachtas.ie gabrielle.mcfadden@oireachtas.ie frank.feighan@oireachtas.ie frances.black@oireachtas.ie fintan.warfield@oireachtas.ie diarmuid.wilson@oireachtas.ie denis.odonovan@oireachtas.ie denis.landy@oireachtas.ie colm.burke@oireachtas.ie catherine.noone@oireachtas.ie catherine.ardagh@oireachtas.ie brian.odomhnaill@oireachtas.ie billy.lawless@oireachtas.ie aodhan.oriordain@oireachtas.ie aidan.davitt@oireachtas.ie