the kinship project

chance encounters: talking in the park
peter morgan & judy kravis
tramore valley park, cork city
8th — 22nd march 2022



Everyone is happy to talk in a park. There’s freedom in talking to strangers, in the open air. There has been a drought of conversation the past few years. Like swimming and riding a bike, you don’t forget how to do it. As longterm producers of books we are interested in not producing anything except thoughts in people's heads, which may be forgotten two minutes later or may be remembered for years.

every force evolves a form

Tramore Valley Park is a hundred and sixty acres of former landfill. Three million tons of rubbish, accumulated over fifty years, are covered with a membrane and a metre of earth. Once you were looking down into a bog and now you’re looking up at a hill. It’s alive under there. The level drops a centimetre and a half every year. Methane seeps out in little hisses, day and night.

— It’s great, what they did, I come here every day. 
— I like the big open space. It’s what you miss in the city.
— In lockdown, we had picnics up the hill, the kids were rolling around, looking at the wild flowers.
— I like the Cuddly Toy Heaven Walk along the fence by the recycling.
— My daughter is frightened of them, all her comforters imprisoned.
— I sometimes think about all the stuff I threw away being under that hill.
— Did you hear about the bitcoin millionaire who threw away his hard drive with the rubbish?
— The past is a jigsaw. All we have is a handful of pieces.


— Reality is hard to find. Face to face has become frightening.
— Communication comes in platforms.
— What with Zoom and Teams.
— Everything’s an algorithm.
— There’s no trust any more.
— There’s state control, all the way down.

what you think is what they think

— During lockdown, public spaces were photographed every two hours.
— What will people think about those photos in fifty years’ time?
— There’ll be a Ph.D in that.


People walk with their heads down, often with sunglasses, and dogs, into the wind. A strong southeasterly clears the head. Small children whizz about on scooters. This is the era of dogs and scooters. Fifty years a landfill site. Ten years turning into a park. What will the park be like in fifty years time? About seventy-five centimetres lower, for one thing.

— If the council says it’s safe, that’s good enough for me.
— I never think about what’s underneath.
— It’s better now there’s more people, more access.
— I was thrilled when they put in the new gates.
— Suddenly there was a park on my doorstep.
— I’m not sure about the bridge over to Grange.
— Lads with slabs of beer coming over.
— I wouldn’t want to be here on my own after dark.
— I wouldn’t go down that marshy bit on my own.
— Not after reading True Crime.

the big picture is crooked

Conversation is a great cleanser. You’ve had your say, you can go on your way, refreshed and altered. Some people are waiting for the ask. No, we’re just talking. And we’d like to give you one of our books. I am the messenger. It’s about Greta Thunberg, children, and the climate crisis.


— I believe in climate change but Greta Thunberg is going a bit far.
— We’re all hypocrites when it comes to rubbish.
— People won’t do anything about the environment unless it’s at their front gate.
— I don’t think I can really do anything, but if everyone did, I would.
— Nearly every one of us, nearly every day. contributes directly to the ruin of this planet.
— My wife upcycles, nothing goes to waste.
— The recycling is very clean and tidy. There’s duty of care. Everything is well in hand.
— We’ve gone very rule-minded.
— It’s all about insurance these days.
— Where’s the rebel city now?


conversation finds a path, as water finds a path