Yellow Space Belfast: negotiations for an open city

Dougal Sheridan, Orla McKeever, Conor Moloney, Jurgen Patzak-poor

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    ‘Yellow Space’, a travelling installation which was firstshown at Belfast Exposed, examines the possibilitiesfor city living in Belfast. Around the world, the colouryellow is often used as a sign for useful or sharedobjects, for example a phone director y, a taxi, or apost-it note. Yellow is much more potent than the‘passive neutrality’ of white, yellow denotes what couldbe called an ‘active neutrality’, a common groundcreated through usefulness. Yellow is the colour ofconsensus, utility, and access – exactly those qualitieswe expect to find and enjoy in a city. However these arealso the qualities that are most under threat in allcontemporary cities, not least Belfast.Belfast’s slow transition from ‘troubled’ city to ‘lived’city is underway. However, the impact of thirty yearsof civil conflict continues to be felt as much in thecurrent development of the city as it was during timesof strife. Governance structures remain highlycentralised and locally unaccountable; the developmentof civil society is inhibited by persistent sectarianism;and the economic life of the region continues to bedistorted by state subvention and paramilitaryintervention. These conditions are reflected in theformation of the built environment, where large stateand corporate actors dominate development, wheresecurity mindsets produce fragmented spatialarrangements, and where ‘cultural clientelism’ opposesthe integration of urban institutions and resources. TheUniversity of Ulster’s advocacy group ‘Building Initiative’opposes this politics of identity with a politics of place.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherBuilding Initiative Belfast
    Number of pages55
    ISBN (Print)13: 978-85923-215-6
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2007


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