Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Holohan, Conn
Ireland Astray Symposium, St Mary’s University College, London
No direction home?: Location and dislocation in Irish visual culture
St Mary’s University College, London
Conference Paper
Optional Fields
As J. Macgregor Wise argues, ‘cultures are ways of territorializing, the ways one makes oneself at home’ (Wise 2000, p.300); it is through a shared understanding of belonging that a space becomes one in which we may collectively belong. However, as an examination of Irish cultural discourses over the past decades reveals, that understanding necessarily shifts over time in response to wider social, economic and cultural changes. This paper traces how such shifts have found expression within Irish cinema, how cinema as a medium has articulated a changing relationship to the ‘symbolic fiction’ that is home. In particular, it tracks a movement within Irish films from the traditional association of home with a specific, bounded place, to the image of an Ireland which conceives of itself inhabiting a fluctuating global space. It will suggest that both these images of belonging express a tension between what might be termed local and global perspectives on space; indeed that the purpose of home as an imaginative construct is to negotiate between those two seemingly divergent understandings of the physical and social spaces in which we live our everyday lives. Furthermore, in the troubled home-places of recent Irish cinema, it discerns a collapse of home’s comforting fictions as Irish society experiences a visceral encounter with the economic forces which determine our ability to imagine a space in which we belong.
Millenium Fund
Publication Themes
Humanities in Context