Led by writer Nathan O’Donnell, The Mill is inspired by the Clondalkin Paper Mill and the legacy of the 1980s’ strikes there.
The Mill engaged with a group of young people in Clondalkin to produce a magazine, derived from the legacy of the strikes and a history of radical publishing. Clondalkin was home to one of the last of Ireland’s paper mills; the closure of the mill in 1982 marked the end of a centuries-old traditional industry along the Camac river, as well as generating an important moment in the history of protest in Ireland.
The Mill takes its cue from these legacies, focusing on the history of paper-making in Ireland, as well as the intersections between print culture and protest. The programme for young people took place in Autumn 2018, with participants taking part in writing, photography and journalism exercises, as well as getting hands-on experience with letterpress and other forms of printing, and learning about the history of paper, publishing, and print in Ireland. The programme is designed to respond to the environment of Clondalkin; participants were encouraged to think about place, community, and activism. The resulting radical magazine, This Being Where We Live designed by Clare Bell, was launched at the Clondalkin Festival on 29 June 2019.
This Being Where We Live was selected for the 100 Archive 2019, which charts the past, present and future of Irish design by publishing 100 notable communication design projects, selected each year following an open call.
Get a copy of 'This Being Where We Live'
Free in Clondalkin. Available in Clondalkin Library.
Available for purchase (€8) in the National Print Museum, the Library Project, and Books Upstairs.
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Over six months, Nathan O'Donnell worked with students of Collinstown Park Community College, all members of the writing group, Inklinks; Daniel Breen, Sean Byrne, Culann Doyle Farrell, Thomas Evans, Katelyn Hillary, Victory Luke, Sophie McDonald, Emma Nangle, Debbie Reddin, and Grace Shelley, to produce an assemblage of new writing, images, archival materials, collective manifestos, and protest posters, that reflect their sense of their surroundings and their connection to the places they call home. The result is the publication 'This Being Where We Live', designed by Clare Bell and printed by Plus Print.
Nathan O' Donnell and In Context 4 wish to thank Paul Billings, Rebecca Ford, Colm Keegan, Mary Plunkett and Ciaran Swan for their kind input and support of the project.
Nathan O'Donnell is a writer of fiction and criticism, and co-editor of the journal of contemporary art criticism Paper Visual Art. He has published in The Dublin Review, New Irish Writing, The Manchester Review, gorse journal, The Irish Times, Apollo, this is tomorrow, and Architecture Ireland, amongst others. In 2015 he was nominated for a Hennessy Award and he has been awarded bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.
He has designed several creative writing and magazine-publishing projects for young people, including Inverse, a project for LGBT young people, and Making Manifestos, at the DLR Lexicon and the National Print Museum in 2016. He is editing the reissue of the radical avant-garde magazine, BLAST, for Oxford University Press, and he has written and presented widely on magazine histories. He teaches at the National College of Art and Design and is currently an IRC Enterprise Postdoctoral Research Fellow, based between IMMA and Trinity College Dublin.
Image: Clondalkin Paper Mills Collection, South Dublin County Libraries