I’m Camilla. I’m an activist-academic with a particular interest in education within social movements. I didn’t always work as an academic in fact I started my career as a General Nurse. Although nursing is a difficult job to get into now because of high academic demands, back then, in the 1980s, I managed to be accepted onto an apprenticeship program with a pretty average leaving certificate.
I left nursing after about ten years, and again quite by accident began working in Community Education, initially within the addiction services, and because of an influx of funding to address heroin use in Dublin in the 1990s before moving in community education more broadly. I’ve worked with women's groups, resident’s groups, and campaign groups and have done a significant amount of work within the Irish repeal movement as a researcher and an educator. I’ve also dipped in and out of my career to work at home raising my three children who are all grown up now. This often-hidden aspect of women’s work in particular is possibly the aspect of my life where I have learned the most.
When I am with a group, I strive to embody a feminist pedagogy meaning I work hard to create conditions that are participatory, dialogic, often disruptive, and most of all, politicising. This is my overall project – to create conditions where people can think critically about the circumstances of their life, and where collectively, they can be supported to take some sort of action to alter the status quo.
So far, I’ve written two books. Community Education and Neoliberalism; Philosophies Politics and Policies, which is available here (or cheaper if you shop around!). This is the first major study of community education in Ireland. It argues that community education has been negatively reshaped by forces of labour market activation and vocationalisation to the detriment of its politicising origins and potentials.
Repealed; Ireland’s ongoing fight for reproductive rights, which is available here traces the history of the origins of the Eighth Amendment draws out the lessons learned from the groundbreaking campaign in 2018, which was the culmination of a 35-year-long reproductive rights movement and an inspiring example of modern grassroots activism.