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Belfast’s Sites of Conflict and Structural Violence: An Exploration of the Transformation of Public Spaces through Theatre and Performance


Belfast’s Sites of Conflict and Structural Violence: An Exploration of the Transformation of Public Spaces through Theatre and Performance

Gilker, Sadie (2021) Belfast’s Sites of Conflict and Structural Violence: An Exploration of the Transformation of Public Spaces through Theatre and Performance. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This interdisciplinary project examines contemporary, everyday, and theatrical performances that represent violence in public space in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Utilizing the fields of Performance Studies, Urban Planning, and History, my thesis explores how theatre and performance can process violence and change perceptions of sites of conflict related to the Northern Irish Troubles (1968-1998). I examine Charabanc Theatre Company’s Somewhere Over the Balcony (1987), Tinderbox Theatre Company’s Convictions (2000), and Black Taxi Tours (2019) to address different time frames in Northern Ireland’s history and assess how performance interacts with violence and public space. The theory of structural violence allows me to examine the Divis Flats, the Crumlin Road Courthouse and sites of memorialization and murals. Structural violence, I argue, is embodied by a built environment and attendant social systems that enact harms on citizens. Combining this analysis with Performance theory provides access to spaces that are located behind sectarian lines to further our knowledge on the urban landscapes in Northern Ireland. This thesis adds to the ongoing narrative of desegregation and reconciliation between the divided communities of Belfast, Northern Ireland by situating theatre and performance as a means of processing the violence of the Troubles and transforming perceptions of public space.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gilker, Sadie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:12 January 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):O'Toole, Emer and Foster, Gavin and Janssen, Shauna
Keywords:Northern Ireland, Troubles, Performance, Site-Specific Theatre, Structural Violence, public space, urban planning, performance studies, Irish studies, Black Taxi Tours, Divis Flats, Crumlin Road Courthouse, post-conflict cities, heritage, memory, history
ID Code:987836
Deposited On:23 Jun 2021 16:42
Last Modified:23 Jun 2021 16:42


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