A two-minute video depicting Irish women’s journeys across the Irish Sea to access abortions received almost quarter of a million views in its first 24 hours online.
The short film entitled ‘We Face this Land’ was shot on an Irish beach last month and involved more than 100 Irish women of all ages, including actors Aoibhinn McGinnity and Seana Kerslake as well as Independent senator Lynn Ruane.
“Essentially Dave Tynan and Dave Leahy (directors) had decided they wanted to make something for the pro-choice movement and novelist Sarah Maria Griffin wrote this amazing poem which she performed at a Repeal Project event and I knew when I heard that it encapsulated everything that Repeal stood for and why,” said Anna Cosgrave, founder of the Repeal Project.
Ms Cosgrave is behind the ‘Repeal’ jumper project which she set up as a pop-up shop in July, with the objective of starting a conversation where people can discuss what it means to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
The Eighth Amendment, which amended Article 40 of the Constitution in 1983, acknowledges “the right to life of the unborn, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother”.
She was approached by the novelist and the two directors after she launched her project this summer.
“Sarah approached me with the two guys and I knew instantaneously, let’s do this. I knew their work would travel a lot more than my one voice. It all happened very fast. About 100 people appeared in it, it was all the volunteers, just people coming forward. It was all via email and it was all set up so quickly. It is very telling of how much people wanted to be involved. It just came together, in solidarity of support for women of Ireland,” she said.
The volunteers arrived at the beach, on the east coast of Ireland, at 7am and took part in the filming for approximately 12 hours.
In the short film, the volunteers are seen submerging themselves in the sea.
“The water was very symbolic for the movement,” said Anna.
She added that the objective of the video is to move the conversation, around repealing the Eighth Amendment, forward.
“The video was done to push the conversation forward around the Eighth Amendment and spread this message far and wide,” said Anna.
The short film first appeared on website Her.ie at 7pm on Thursday night and by 6pm yesterday evening it had been viewed approximately 225,000 times.
“It was the same with the pop-up, you can’t plan this sort of thing.
“I have full confidence in the people of Ireland when it comes to equality.
“There’s been a general shift in mentality since the marriage referendum around this issue,” she said.
Authors Marian Keyes and Louise O’Neill have reached out in support to Anna and international fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has worn one of the ‘Repeal’ jumpers, as has the renowned women’s activist Gloria Steinem.
The video features a spoken-word piece by the novelist Sarah Maria Griffin (Not Lost, Spare and Found Parts) and it is performed by a variety of Irish women including comedian Tara Flynn, actress Charlene McKenna and Fight Like Apes musician Mary-Kate Geraghty.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved