This article assesses the identity politics of language in post-conflict Northern Ireland, where language debates at a political level have been encased in questions of identity. However, despite the continued existence of ethnocentric narratives around language, opportunities have emerged for individuals to cross linguistic barriers and challenge the perspective that certain languages ‘belong’ to certain communities.
Current Issues and Developments in Northern Ireland
Instrumentalised Secularity and Religious Futures in Northern Ireland
Liam D. Murphy
Competitive funding by the European Union for community projects in Northern Ireland operates according to a political logic in which some groups and projects (deemed progressive, modern and generally secular) are prioritised, while others (discursively positioned as anachronistic, traditional and religious) are precluded. In this process, EU processes of statecraft seek to instrumentalise grassroots organisations as means to the many ends of a disenchanted, modern EU federation. In turn, overtly religious groups (among them churches, parachurches, and confraternities of various kinds) adapt to these conditions by instrumentalising EU processes and goals to the general end of securing a future place for religiosity in the 'new' Northern Ireland. This paper discusses the intersection of religious objectives and ideologies with that of European modernism in the context of two organisations: the Orange Order and the Divine Fellowship Congregation (DFC). Speci fically, I argue that both associations have developed distinctive forms of practice (the 'Orangefest' and 'Utopia' projects, respectively) that re-conceive what is possible for modern EU-funded initiatives. This adaptation has implications for both sets of institutions, in that each is transformed through articulation with the other.
Impacts of Performing Memory in Northern Ireland
This article addresses the function of public presentations of personal memory in a post-conflict context and explores whether they may contribute to a preservation of that conflict. In particular, it examines the reception of performed memories of violence and its aftermath by audiences who have lived through similar experiences. To do this, it will discuss observations from empirical research on a verbatim theatre production in Northern Ireland, Heroes with Their Hands in the Air, that used interviews with relatives of those killed or wounded in an incident that came to be known as 'Bloody Sunday'. Drawing on the responses to the stories portrayed, it argues that, although such performative re-enactment of memory may contribute to an affirmation of collective identity and thus to preserving boundaries, it allows a community of memory to examine past events of suffering and explore impacts that reach into the present.
Reinterpreting Columba/Colmcille in the UK City of Culture
Máiréad Nic Craith
In 2013, Derry~Londonderry became the inaugural UK City of Culture. Given tensions between national and unionist versions of history, the title generated considerable debate on the location of Derry~Londonderry's culture within a UK and/or Irish context. All this had implications for the character of Columba/Colmcille, who had been appropriated by competing secular and religious versions of history in the past and who featured prominently in the year-long celebrations. This essay explores the layering and cultural appropriation of the narrative of Columba/Colmcille over the centuries and the reshaping of this narrative in anticipation of the year of UK City of Culture. It contextualises the emergence of a fresh narrative in the new political context which seeks to redefine the city as a common heritage space for a previously divided people.
Philip McDermott (2012), Migrant Languages in the Public Space: A Case Study from Northern Ireland (Münster: LIT), 320 pp., Pb: €29.90, ISBN: 978-3643800992.
Director Steve McQueen's 2008 film Hunger employs strategies of narrative fracture in its account of the 1981 Northern Irish hunger strikes. Through the formal devices of ellipsis and descriptive pause, the film creates space for viewer reflection on, and immersion in, the emotions associated with trauma and loss. Looking at these formal devices as emotion cues, and considering the film as a case study in the cognitive study of film, this article offers an 'emotional reading' of Hunger.
Narrating Experiences of Discrimination and Ethnic Hatred among Polish Migrants in Belfast
Based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork, this article discusses the narratives of perceived discrimination and ethnic hatred of Polish migrants in Belfast. Using narrative theory, it examines the construction of identity of Poles as an unprivileged stratum of the Northern Irish society. Migrants' stories are followed by analysis of the contradictions and tensions between what they construct as their realities and 'objective truth'. Subsequently, the article accounts for these tensions by exploring the links between 'cultural repertoires' of Polish migrants and the ways in which their narratives are presented.
German Reactions to Brexit
that the outcome would mirror the result of the Scottish independence referendum of September 2014, in which 55 percent voted to remain in the United Kingdom. Fissures within the British electorate were clear. London, Scotland, Northern Ireland
An Unfortunate Case of Anglo-Saxon Parochialism?
England and Wales voted to Leave, Scotland, Northern Ireland and a number of large, multicultural cities, including Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London, voted by large margins to ‘Remain’. Many of the reasons behind these voting
Remaking the World Cultures Displays at the National Museum of Scotland
identity, pride, history, and wealth. The aim here is to provide insight into the near history and creative process that framed the development of the World Cultures displays in a devolved nation. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK