The Camper Van of Dreams is a place of imagination, a creative space for people to find acceptance, courage to speak their dreams and to declare a new possibility for their life. It is an initiative of hope.
Our 1973 VW van has been transformed into a dream- enabling camper. Starting in 2014, we have parked the camper up at schools, colleges and festivals encouraging people to enter the van and articulate a dream. The dreams are spoken into a microphone within the ‘safe’ confessional parlour of the van, but are then transmitted via a rooftop megaphone. The air is filled with the audible aspirations of new possibilities for the dreamer, someone they love, their community or the world. The Camper Van of Dreams is grounded in the theory that declaring an aspiration creates a possibility to live into. By exploring hope and professing possibility, it enables new ways of being, and can open up new ways of thinking and collective belief towards a project or idea.
We have had over 1500 participants since we started. They have dreamed of justice, travel, love, forgiveness and political awakening. It is a creative space for re-imaging individually or collectively.
The camper has welcomed children from an inner-city integrated education school in Belfast, asylum seekers and refugees at a Northern Ireland’s Human Right’s Festival and revellers on Saint Patrick’s Day.
We have dabbled in pop-up democracy, working with the National Union of Students (NUS-USI) touring the Camper round universities and colleges in Northern Ireland. Students were invited to enter the van, discuss ideas and experiences and benefit from their collective vision being heard. This was done in partnership with the electoral commission, so when the students declared their dreams, they were encouraged to make their voices heard by registering to vote and becoming politically active citizens.
The camper is on a journey of possibility. We plan to bring the camper to mental health units, looked after children services and prisons. We aim to develop workshops of hope, enabling participants to journey towards belief for themselves and society and to promote the collective dreams of civic activism.
All encounters with the Camper are recorded on Camper Van of Dreams Twitter and Facebook Pages. FB- camper of dreams /twitter@camperofdreams