Dublin – A Summer’s Tale

by Oriana Kraemer

granby park preparations

It’s almost as if this exceptionally warm and long-lasting summer has finally freed Dublin from its state of shock, caused by the sudden recession back in 2009. Not only rating agencies attest economical uplift this year, also the social and cultural life of the capital experiences a revival  – or could I say reinvention? There is one spot in town, where prevailing self-flagellation has been replaced by action, creativity and power: a vacant site on Dominick Street Lower, in the heart of the city.

Since over a year dozens of volunteers have been frantically working to realize Granby Park, a temporary Pop-Up garden by the arts collective Upstart, “a place of creativity, nature, imagination, play and beauty for everyone. For four weeks, there will be free arts events, outdoor cinema & theatre performances, live music, educational activities and a pop-up café open to the public.” (source: Granby Park website)

Post-crisis city production

Creating Granby Park on this inner city urban wasteland feels like a statement to me, an attempt of people to finally take part in shaping the city after a long history of paternalism and more recently – the dictate of the market in Ireland. This project is therefore more than just another example of trendy European bottom-up urbanism and will – despite its temporariness – surely have a strong impact on urban culture and community engagement in Dublin.

So if you want to be part of something special, come along! Help with the final spurt of the build up today, volunteer as a park steward, visit one of the many amazing public events, offer your skills at trade school or simply celebrate community, team work, reconciliation, creativity and – the new Irish Summer…

The park is open to public from August 22nd to September 22nd 2013, Monday to Friday 8am – 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 7pm at Dominick Street Lower, Dublin 1

Granby park beforeThe site before the build up, just a few weeks ago!

Granby Park Site 18.08.2013Granby Park this Sunday….

Granby Park Site 21.08.2013… and today!

shoe art

granby park amphitheatre build upConstruction work on the pallet amphitheatre went on until late tonight..

polytunnel build upPolytunnel construction

planter construction for Granby ParkVolunteers making tree planters from pallets

amphitheatre build up teens teens Teens from Dublin and Belfast are building the amphitheatre as part of a reconciliation project

building a nest preparing the siteThe grass has been manually “transplanted” from a neighbouring vacant site!

site management watering plant donations to Granby ParkWatering plant donations

art at Granby Parkfence painting at Dominick Street LowerLocal volunteers painting the fence

Granby Park guerilla gardening on exchecker streetDiscrete advertising – a lovely herald for Granby park spotted on Exchequer Street today. knitting pile knitting for Granby Parkknitters at Granby ParkFence knitting action…

neighbours painting Dominick Flats  The good vibes spill over: Tenants painting their walls at Dominick Flats!

polytunnel art  Granby Park poster on Parnell Street