‘“God’s little acre”/“Belfast Chinatown”: Cultural politics and agencies of anti-racist spatial inscription.”

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Abstract

Considering the Chinese Welfare Association’s (CWA) recent architectural production in Belfast, of Hong Ling Gardens Sheltered Housing Scheme and a forthcoming Chinese Community and Resource Centre, this paper gives an overview of the conditions under which the projects were realised and discusses the cultural politics of their spatial production. It focuses on concepts of the public’, discourses of multiculturalism and aspects of the community relations policy outlined in A Shared Future (2005), issued by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. The CWA pursued good relations with local communities in areas where the buildings were proposed and in certain situations, involved mutual material benefit, while in others the plans were contested. Those contestations articulated through racialized discourses indicate the inadequacy of an interculturalism or multiculturalism emphasizing ‘culture’ or ‘cultural diversity’ to promote ‘tolerance’ or social transformation, without an anti-racist commitment to dismantling racialized and ethnicized power relations and closures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-75
JournalTranslocations: Irish Migration, ‘Race’ and Social Transformation Review
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2006

Keywords

  • multiculturalism
  • anti-racism
  • culture
  • Belfast
  • Chinese Welfare Association

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