Friday, April 24, 2009

We Shall Remain - "Through Native Eyes"?

There have been some conflicting statements in the media about how much actual input Native Americans had into the PBS series, "We Shall Remain," currently airing on Monday nights on "American Experience". Hartman Deetz of the Wampanoag Nation commented on what his community has gone through in participating, to one extent or another, in the project: we shall remain episode one

As reiterated in the discussion there, while the series is certainly an improvement on some similar mainstream media projects helmed by non-Natives, I don't think any film or documentary can truly be called "through Native eyes" unless all the key roles in the writing, producing, directing and editing of the production are filled by Natives. While this project aimed at "inclusion," it's not the same as creative control.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Irish activist aims for U.S. support to stop highway at Tara

Campaigner Vincent Salafia marches in Dublin to protest against plans to build a highway through the historic Tara valley - Photo by Julien Behal/PA

Now, with legal avenues and protests in Ireland seemingly exhausted, [TaraWatch founder Vincent] Salafia is looking to the U.S. to try and drum up support for his campaign.

The March edition of the Smithsonian magazine, the magazine of the Smithsonian institute, included a feature on the Hill of Tara that quoted Salafia. It said that the “archeologically rich complex on and about the Hill of Tara is seen by many as the spiritual and historic heart of Ireland.”

Read the rest of the article at TaraWatch

Polls say 2 out of 3 people in Ireland are opposed to the M3 and the continuing destruction of the Tara-Skryne/Gabhra Valley, referred to in the article above as, "the most powerful Celtic pagan site". But after years of front line struggle, many people are worn out and feeling hopeless. Americans have been involved in the fight all along, but I think this call from one of the main organizers is particularly relevant for clearing up some recent confusion I've seen from Americans who are unfamiliar with the situation in Ireland.

crossposted to Óenach

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Online CR Community

From Felmac:

Óenach (Old Irish: assembly, gathering) is an online Celtic Reconstructionist (CR) community and forum--open to newcomers and the experienced alike--for the discussion of CR and other Celtic-related topics from a traditional perspective, that is a perspective more strictly in accordance history, culture and tradition.

"Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. It is an effort to reconstruct, within a modern Celtic cultural context, the aspects of ancient Celtic religions that were lost or subsumed by Christianity." -- From the CR FAQ

Principles and Parameters

What We Mean by CR
1. Celtic Reconstructionism is a methodology to restore and revitalize the pre-Christian worldviews and polytheistic systems of the various Celtic peoples in the context of contemporary yet traditional Celtic cultures.
2. This methodology is part of a manner of living and being that involves a commitment to the living Celtic cultures and their pre-Christian thought and character.
3. History, culture and tradition form the foundation that informs our methodology, everyday lives, and the process of restoring our pre-Christian spirituality, values and conceptions.

What We're Not About
1. Celtic Reconstructionism does not involve and in fact rejects modern and artificial syncretisms, eclectic practices and modernist interpretations, and does not affiliate with Neodruidism or Neopaganism.
2. This community supports and wishes to preserve the space of women in relation to the flame of Brigid, ie male flametending is not a supported practice.
3. While we maintain that reconstructed Celtic Polytheisms are ethno-religious traditions, this is not an excuse for embracing notions of racial or cultural superiority, or racialist ideologies, and we firmly oppose discrimination based on factors such as race, heritage, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.

What's On Topic
Anything directly relating to Celtic cultures (past and extant), history, languages, and polytheisms.

Please consider joining!

Go raibh maith agaibh to Tomás agus Mícheál for all their work on this. There have already been some good discussions, and I look forward to many more.