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suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:21 pm
by ciaranc
Some of the recent threads have highlighted how Irish Re-enactment is not really interesting for female participants who are not combatants. Irish Re-enactment also seems not to be as family friendly as we could make it.

With this in mind I have started this thread to see how we can improve next years season. So any suggestions which are realistic and achievable post them here and lets see how we can change the face of Re-enactment

so i have 2 questions

how can we make re-enactment more family friendly

how can we improve the female roles in re-enactment

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:31 pm
by Dave Mooney
We pitch them down here and you list them above with a name and date then clip our post to keep the thread shorter? Unless it's a discussion post of course. The suggestions may need grouping to genre/era/speciality etc.

1. Closed to public LHE camps with arranged lectures, projects and exchange zones (eg archery for the non archers firing range)

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:43 pm
by wiblick
I think any improvements have to happen at group level, obviously what's good for one group won't suit others. For any group it would be helpful for them to

Recruit new members

Have a strong focus on a single time period or theme

Research - history & material items

Have a committee like structure in place

Treat it as a hobby - it's a bit of fun, you buy your own kit, you make your own way to events, you participate at your own level while adhering to the authenticity level of the group you choose to join.

Groups or group members should organise trips to museums and sites of historical interest

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:55 pm
by Dave Mooney
Good directives for groups or setting up a group there. Right there, however, is how this listing of ideas is going to break down into different sections.
As for the 'genre' as a whole we need different stuff as well.

We're a multi period group with the major focus on 8th to 10th Cen. This has worked for us with different members pulling the group backwards and forwards in time on occasion. Not all the group swing as It doesn't work for them all but we're stable enough. It has only improved what we do. Of course doing the prehistoric stuff we have little or no external source to co-opt in from.

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:01 pm
by ciaranc
hmm we seem to be drifting already

specifically i am looking for ideas on how to make re-enactment more family friendly and how to improve female roles in re-enactment. How a group should be structured is a topic for another thread really

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:30 pm
by RecycledViking
I think that there needs to be a stronger emphasis on stationary living history, in the best case scenario owning or having land for permanent display. (The equipment/buildings are permanent, not the re-enactors! Unless you are independently wealthy and enjoy poor weather! :D )
Many Irish events are combat-centered with living history as a marginal afterthought. No wonder women may feel unattracted to re-enactment, if they feel that they will just be the sideline display and water wenches for a bunch of sweaty chainmailed men. (or this may attract some!)
If living history displays become more centralized and combat is toned down - or at least counterbalanced by better, bigger stationary display - then those who are not pugnacious will still feel welcome.

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:45 pm
by wiblick
sorry, sorry, yes, yes my bad. Can someone move those two posts to create a new thread?

Well basically I agree with Annie. Less side-lining of craft & LH displays. Women would also feel more part of the group if the men took part in the LH and didn't just loll about before/after combat.

The women currently in re-enactment need to create roles for themselves, they need to research the lives of women in their chosen period and make those tasks & crafts appealing, they can be appealing: many women are interested in brewing, baking, fibre crafts and animal husbandry. It's not necessary to portray exceptional women but it would be nice if we had a set of strong female role models.

At events we need to engage and target women & families (events are great recruiting grounds). I am always reluctant to encourage a family to join because I know what goes on at night at a re-enactment. There would have to be a segregation of the beer swilling & nipple pinching away from a quieter family camp. It's totally doable and need not detract from anyone's experience.

Women don't need any special treatment per se, re-enactment just needs to be a more rounded hobby. It needs to represent period life and that means women & children & men who don't fight.

Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:48 pm
by Dave Mooney
Fair enough CiarĂ¡n.

Get all the females to have kids ! Two for one there :p And again I :P

Well, ok, LH camps will be crucial to anything that would be 'female role' based. I think that stands.

Making it family friendly...bring the kids for a start. There are several 'howevers' involved with that.
To date it seems to involve couples bonding within the hobby as those that have partners not in the hobby seem to stay at home with the kids. It may be that gigs are work and not so hobby. The other half might go to a closed, relaxed in house event.

Beth is giving me the point that 'containment of young kids is a big issue and one can only expect to spend most of your day chasing them about in a different context to home.'

I'm sure there are 'child' rolls the kids could fill in but that will take a good bit of organisation. The only way to do this at events is to create a secure area that would border on solid fencing. May as well build the village at that point.
The family events need to be at established centres like Cragganouwen or Ferrycarrig or in someone's back yard. Back to LHE camps!

RecycledViking's and then wiblick's posts got in before mine but back the idea of LH camps once more. That's how the Shinrone gang operate. They got a pain drifting about the country so got a property that gets the collective to come to their roost.


Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:49 am
by bannerman
Just a quick one guys!
With regard to female roles. For the 1916 Rising the Irish Citizen Army was the 1st Army in the world to give women equal status to men as a fighting force in the front line. Also it gave its female members full entitlement to earn rank equal to men and in some cases actually gave them full command over male combatants i.e. Commande Marciviectz in Stephens Green.

Re-enacting the republican struggle 1913 to 1923 gives female re-enactors the opportunity to appear in the combat line as women and not women disguised as men as is done in other periods namely American Civil War and Napoleonic. If living history is more your thing than combat them the Cumann Na m-Bann and womens section of the Irish Citizens Army also did first aid and cooking for the male troops at times. Sounds a bit sexist? Fair enough - then how does gun smuggling, heckling British Recruitment Officers, canvassing for republican canditates and leafletting sound. Why not go further still and practise your acting and public speaking kills by making a speach as Madame Despard, Maud Gonne, Countess Marcivictz
or any of the other well known republican heroines from the perion. Kathleen Clarke, Grace Gifford. Dr. Kathleen Lynne ... I could go on!

This isnt meant as a recruitment drive for my period of re-enactment. If the republican history line dosent grab you then why dont we have a suferagette re-enactment group? They didnt just pass out leaflets and hold plackards. One suferagette, threw a hatchet at Lord Ssquith another blew up LLoyd Georges summer home. Many (though not all) suferagettes opposed WW1. Wouldent it be great to see suferagettes on soap boxed picketing allied forces encampments in WW1 calling for peace? After all its history, it did happen, and its often overlooked in favour of the blood and guts side of things!

Now. Ive done other periods as well, you could have Florence Nightingale in the Crimea War, Betsy Gray in Wexford 1798, Anna Parnell in the Landwar, Early Christian Female saints and so on. But really in terms of women getting the vote, getting elected and getting equal rights the 1910's and 1920's is the place to be. Basically we need to get off our arses and see what the position of women was at the different time periods we recreate and what they were doing about it then.

Sin e don am seo
If I get a chance to post later on this same subject Ill try and do it in terms of accuracy, research and how we can improve re-enactment.


Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:47 am
by wiblick
Padraig an excellent post, not my area of interest alas, well at the moment, give me a few years and you may see me out as Countess M!

Loos... that's probably the one thing women would appreciate at re-enactment, you guys can 'manage' in a field/wood but we ladies (well many of us) are ill suited to the acrobatics required to perform the necessaries outdoors especially in our extra long often multi-layerd skirts, so an extra porta-loo would be lovely.