D.I.R.T. Dirt Is Really Terrific
We worked with the Youth Club at Ty Llywelyn on this two-day event to create an opportunity to practice different forms and actions that people often use when they want to express their political positions and effect political change, such as protesting, canvassing, and working collectively. Experimenting with these different forms could create possibilities for consciousness-raising and for young people to identify tools for future situations where they feel the need to assert themselves in the world.
The content of the activities centred around the estate’s historical links to brick manufacturing, and the significant role this played in literally building the rest of Llandudno. We decided to try and recreate the Tre Cwm brick. We developed how we were going to do this with the young people, and decided that we would have a kind of procession where we went door to door and asked neighbours to donate some of the dirt from their gardens, which we would then extract the clay from to make bricks.
All the forms of protest and political action were there - creating banners that state our position, using our own voices and a megaphone to (loudly!) announce our views and objectives, being seen in public to be a group with a particular position in common, and knocking on doors to meet neighbours, express views, and try to reach out, communicate, and get them on board.
Afterwards we talked with the young people about their feelings of fear, excitement, and growing confidence over the course of the two days. Many expressed surprise at how nice and friendly their neighbours were, at how willing they were to donate dirt, and how different this all was to their initial expectations. We also talked about other protests and stories on the news these actions reminded them of, and other reasons and causes some of them might want to stage a political protest or canvas in the future.