About ‘Roots of Disarmament’

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Photo by Martha McCulloch

Utopia Ducks presented a participatory performance which discusses the colonial history of  Fort Dunree and the famine days in Inishowen in the contemporary context of climate change. The performance questioned the global spend on arms and the arms industry’s effect on sustainability and proposed a radical imagining of a world without war and starvation. We led a procession through the site as part of the event and afterwards cooked and eat utopian potatoes while evoking female energy.

Since summer 2017 Rebecca has been occupying a walled space at Fort Dunree. It has developed into a community garden growing organic fruit, vegetables and herbs. The space also sets out to nurture biodiversity and so wildflowers grow between the beds and bring bees and other pollinators to the garden. In March 2018 heritage potato varieties were set in beds prepared with seaweed harvested from the shore at the fort and which we harvested on the day of this event. After our performance, people gathered in the walled garden around a peace symbol we made from stones from the shore of the fort. It was a day that ended with music,  poetry and people in conversation.

Female energy has great power. As grandmothers, mothers, daughters, grandaughters and sisters we can tap into  that source knowing there is another way to live in the world.



Photos by Martha McCulloch



Performance ‘Roots of Disarmament’ at Fort Dunree, Co. Donegal


Photo by Jess Buckley

While the level of global military expenditure is today higher than ever, at an estimated $1738 billions per annum, many states fail to increase their foreign development aid to the UN target of 0.7% of GDP, and to tackle effectively their economic and social development challenges. To counter these imbalances, the International Peace Bureau advocates general reductions in excessive military spending and a shift of resources to projects addressing human needs, both domestic and international.


Photo by Jess Buckley


The Charter reflects an explicit understanding of the link between arms and development. Article 26 recognizes the need to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion of the world’s economic and human resources to arms. The last cold war arms race generated substantial global concern about the economic and social sustainability of the unchecked annual growth in military spending. United Nations studies have also shown that excessive military spending can negatively impact inclusive and sustainable growth and capital investment. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development took an important step towards articulating how arms control, peace and security contribute to development. Beyond addressing illicit arms flows, there remains a vast potential to operationally link the implementation of disarmament objectives with many other Sustainable Development Goals, in order to bring the historical relationship between disarmament and development back to the forefront of international consciousness.

United Nations Disarmament Agenda May 2018


Photo by Martha McCulloch

Dánchara for Dunree

Dunree (An Dún Riabhach or Dún Fhraoigh)

Cannons point outwards

From a base of violet heather

And fiery montbrecia


A mirror is held

On the art of undoing

Unwanted narratives


Heritage evolves,

The seeds of change grow,

Peace whispers louder


Unconcerned with rhetoric,

Defences of repression unravel

By women’s hands


Re-linking present,

With the soul of mother earth,

Protecting with love


The unheard,

Bring roots of obstreperous

To disarm you


Beginning with us,

Empowered by connection,

Breathing life


Undressing patriarchy,

Reveals the skin and bone

Of a lived reality


Defensive fearful,

In promise of untold wealth,

We break the cycle


Radical transformation,

Female energy grows stronger,

Eradicating hunger


Mouths, hearts open wide

Song rises from earth to sky

Roars against stagnation


Goddess reclaims

This space and place to birth

Wild and tender truths

Roots of Disarmament


Roots of Disarmament



Utopian Ducks present a participatory performance which looks at the colonial history Dún na Rí and the famine days in Inishowen. The performance will question the global spend on arms and propose a radical imagining of a world without war. While provoking female energy through performance, we will cook and eat Utopian potatoes grown through natural food production and listen to the voices and music of those gathered.

Radical imagining can be conceived as a creative and dialectical struggle between different types of imagination; the outcomes are experienced beyond the realm of financial economies and lie in the space of the communal and personal and how we experience the world around us.

Roots of Disarmament


About Us


Utopia Ducks are two women visual artists living in north Donegal who came together to form an inter-generational collaboration. We have been researching and documenting the local environment, fishing histories, geology and traditions around north Donegal. Living in rural communities in Donegal, we live on a periphery and on a contested border. We look at our sense of place, the local and global and the power of people and communities to have governance in the place they live through preserving cultures, protecting their environments and food production.

Utopia Ducks bring radical imaginings of utopias through a live participatory art performance. The project was conceived as a way to engage as artists, given global conditions of political, environmental and economic uncertainties, with current debates on the social production of a Utopian future. Through performance, we start dialogues about rural sea and land as entities to meet our mutual need for survival. Our ‘Womanifesto’ is a Renku (a collaborative series of Haiku) initiated through acouscenic listening and pyschogeographical explorations of Malin Head. For each performance/event we create a new Renku which directs our improvisational performance.

‘Night of the Utopian Bonfire’


Fanad Dánchara

stone of granite
stands guardian over seas
sand and time

piercing horizon
holding to land reaching up
secure way-maker

introspective being
being there in Heideggers lens
poiesis brought forth

forced transformation
new forms materialise
carries beyond here

intuitive encounters
mapping paths and ancient knowledge
powerful elements fuse

freezing sea waters
bind with toil and tears
disrupts and soothes

leaving land
salt water blesses skin
memory of return

Night of the Utopian Bonfire

Night of the Utopian BonfireUtopia Ducks presents a radical re-imagining of a Utopian coastal community in Fanad, Co. Donegal through a live participatory art performance on the beach at Ballyhiernan bay. The 23rd June is a traditional night of the bonfires in Donegal which celebrates the summer solstice.
We are two women artists living in north Donegal and have been researching and documenting the Fanad coast, the local fishing histories, geology and traditions. Living in rural communities in Donegal, we live on a periphery and on a contested border. It is with this in mind, we look at our environment and the power of people and communities to have governance in the place they live through preserving cultures, protecting their environments and food production.
Through our performance, we start a dialog about the sea and land as entities that we begin to treat with greater care to meet our mutual need for survival. We have also created collaborative Renku verse that serves as a ‘Manifesto’ and as a reflection on experiencing place and we will present a Utopian Bill of Rights around the bonfire, with music and storytelling.
We invite local community, friends and family to come along and participate in an evening of communal gathering. We will start the performance at 9pm sharp. Please feel free to bring your own refreshments, blankets and dress warm for the evening as we will be on the beach.

Directions through google maps 55.247775, -7.701981 or follow directions for ‘Adventure One Surf School’ Ballyheirnan Bay, Rinmore, Eelburn, Fanad, Co. Donegal or
‘Eelburn’ Caravan and camping
Parking There is plenty of parking right beside the beach with easy assess but no cars allowed on the beach
Please Note… there are no toilets available at the beach but plenty of sand dunes Fanad Lodge Pub is a 10 minute walk from the beach
Please note the performance starts at 9pm sharp Saturday 23rd June 2018 Contact helloutopiaducks@gmail.com

New Clear Power

If, God forbid, an accident or terrorist attack happened at Sellafield , would the fire service be able to tackle the deadly work? If not, would the army be drafted in? Would there be enough brave, death defying emergency workers?
It raises the question of Health and Safety. Nuclear power stations have never been insured because the underwriters consider them too risky. Safety experts in Japan decided it was ok to build on tectonic fault lines. This shows a lack of wisdom in the realm of experts. This is worrying. According to the University of New South Wales, the base fuel, uranium, will run out in twelve years, if the world goes nuclear, which would leave hundreds of new radio-active power stations without a fuel supply. This is not a joke but is being seriously proposed.
The world’s systems are falling apart. We are experiencing collapse and the cause is universal. Energy is becoming less available, more costly and is naturally turning into chaos, as dictated by nature’s laws of physics. Seizing energy with military action only speeds up universal collapse. The late Roman emperors, Julian and Valens proved this well enough. The next urgent debate will be about safe, long lasting energy supplies, which is possible only in a world economy that slows down and uses less energy, a baseload. This debate will include geographically suited renewables and energy from waste built into the entire infrastructure, using hydrogen solar cell technology to store and distribute this energy. The priority must be a conscious conservation of remaining energies, while kickstarting a renewed economical economy.
The world is perfectly charged and primed for abundance in nature. Abundance in natural farming methods for food, forestry for fuels and fruits, water for life, leisure and fruits de mer. We have just spent years of hard work, money, time, taxes and energy damaging it.
If people are wise they will start by demanding funicular railways rather than fatal roadways and real gardens in the ganglands- the politics of enough.
We have to get cracking because, unlike Tokyo, this planet has no emergency exit.
Philip Allen
Lagan Valley Permaculture