This event is part of Clear Away the Rubble / Glan an Spallaí ar Shiúl.
Vacancy in the built environment is a hyper-visible urban phenomenon of contemporary Ireland.
Already anticipated by Walter Benjamin in his dissection of the Parisian arcades, urban ruins serve as a spectre that haunts the vision of progress propping up capitalist modernity and urbanisation. The symbol of the ‘ghost-estate’ encapsulated the narrative understanding of the Irish property crash and the final phase of the Celtic Tiger; and now dereliction has become the by-word for the mismanagement of the national housing stock in the midst of a calamitous housing crisis.
As vacancy becomes politicised in times of crisis, accounts of the processes and histories that produce it often fail to get past superficial “common-sense” explanations and are often, at best, blindly ideological and at worst brazenly opportunistic. There are always conflicting logics struggling for supremacy in vacant spaces: the market logic of the owner who may be waiting for the site value to rise, the ambivalent logic of the state that wavers between private property rights and the social functions of the built environment; and the demands and actions of inhabitants who may find themselves compelled to take reclamatory direct action.
In a live recording that will form the narration for a radio documentary, join Cian O’Callaghan, editor of the book “The New Urban Ruins: Vacancy, Urban Politics and International Experiments in the Post-Crisis City”, in conversation with Tommy Gavin.
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Project Arts Centre is proud to be supported by the Arts Council Ireland and Dublin City Council.