Where Did It All Go Wrong? Performing Class in Belfast

Paul Devlin

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    This paper explores iconic working class figures from the north of Ireland (Best, Higgins, the Titanic). The commodification of the reputations of those figures by tourism is considered in terms of a romanticisation of heroic lost causes, while the tensions emerging as such figures appear across a range of media (television, theatre, marketing, news media, and contemporary folk art) are also considered. The contradictions of popular aesthetics are both animating and debilitating for working class communities in Northern Ireland. By turns nostalgic and moving, validating and incriminating. This paper will explore these contradictions from a working class perspective and consider the issues at stake in the performance of class identity in a country famous for its lack of class politics.
    LanguageEnglish
    TypeInvited Research Paper as part of the School of Creative Arts, Queens University of Belfast, monthly research seminars and performances September 2012 - December 2012.
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2012

    Fingerprint

    working class
    folk art
    theater
    reputation
    Ireland
    television
    aesthetics
    news
    marketing
    Tourism
    cause
    politics
    lack
    community
    performance

    Keywords

    • Class
    • Politics
    • Irish Theatre
    • Contemporary Irish Theatre

    Cite this

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    Where Did It All Go Wrong? Performing Class in Belfast. / Devlin, Paul.

    25 p. 2012, Invited Research Paper as part of the School of Creative Arts, Queens University of Belfast, monthly research seminars and performances September 2012 - December 2012..

    Research output: Other contribution

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    AB - This paper explores iconic working class figures from the north of Ireland (Best, Higgins, the Titanic). The commodification of the reputations of those figures by tourism is considered in terms of a romanticisation of heroic lost causes, while the tensions emerging as such figures appear across a range of media (television, theatre, marketing, news media, and contemporary folk art) are also considered. The contradictions of popular aesthetics are both animating and debilitating for working class communities in Northern Ireland. By turns nostalgic and moving, validating and incriminating. This paper will explore these contradictions from a working class perspective and consider the issues at stake in the performance of class identity in a country famous for its lack of class politics.

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