Dispersed Presence Transforming Long Kesh/Maze

Aisling O'Beirn, Martin Krenn

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An illustrated lecture discussing the dialogical methodology developed by artists Martin Krenn and Aisling O’ Beirn for “Transforming Long Kesh/Maze”. For this project the artists worked with participants who have had first hand experience of the former prison Long Kesh in order to explore current perceptions and future possibilities of understanding and mediation the contentious and inaccessible site. In thinking of the former prison as a dispersed presence the artists focus particularly on archaeologist Laura McAtackney’s concept of the ‘distributed self’ from her key text on the prison, ‘An Archaeology of the Troubles’, (McAtackney, 2014, 244-265). The former prison has both a physical presence and conceptual importance. Indecision about its future at government level says much about the political climate of a ‘post-conflict’ society. Given this, the artists are interested in how one can think beyond the site’s legacy and to its future. This lecture was a contribution to the TRACES final conference “Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts” which took place in MUDEC-Museo delle Culture, Milan. Transforming Long/Kesh Maze is a project by one the Creative Co-Production teams of the research project TRACES-Transmitting contentious heritages with the arts. From intervention to Co-Productions, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 693857
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Jan 2019


  • Contentious Cultural Heritage
  • Long Kesh


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