63 minute HD documentary, 2013.
This unique documentary, tells the fascinating story about the rise and fall of the London Irish Women's Centre, a radical organisation based in North London from 1983 - 2012. Featuring 18 interviews with women involved in the organisation over it's 29 year history, the film captures the diversity of Irish women’s lives in an ever changing London, up until the centre's closure.
The London Irish Women's Centre was founded to provide support for Irish women in London. It was an alternative cultural and political space for women to be Irish and over their 29 year history they provided services for Irish women of all circumstances to live daily lives.
Throughout the 80's Irish women arrived in London in their droves and towards the end of the decade they made up 10% of the capital's female population. Many of these women were not simply economic migrants but women in search of an alternative life, away from the repressive predominately Catholic culture of Ireland. Their optimism for a new life was tempered by the reality of life in London. Irish women were among the most disadvantaged ethnic and gender groups in terms of housing and employment.
From the organisation of the first Irish Women's Conferences in the UK, to it's campaigning on women's issues, to it's research on Irish women's housing and employment needs in London, the London Irish Women's Centre's work impacted on the city's culture and politics. Like other alternative, cultural and ethnic community groups founded in London in the 80's it was supported by the Greater London Council, then headed up by the prominent and radical Labour politician Ken Livingston.
Breaking Ground was made entirely by women. It was commissioned by Mind Yourself, the London based charitable organisation the London Irish Women's Centre became in 2012 and co-funded by Britain's National Lottery Arts for All Award.