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Title: Remembering Omagh : aesthetics, ethics and ownership in the performance of memory in post-conflict Northern Ireland
Author: Young, M. P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 7374
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is a practice as research study which seeks to explore aesthetic and ethical concerns surrounding the performance of memory in a post-conflict society. Located within the Northern Ireland context, my study is focussed on the town ofOmagh- the site of the single worst terrorist attack in the history of the Troubles - and my hometown. In an exploration of the ways in which memory functions as a mechanism to articulate an4 enforce identity, I examine how this is performed in a society that is attempting to acknowledge the past while moving on from it. My enquiry employs a dual approach in which analysis of artistic interventions into Omagh's traumatic past is complemented by the use oflive theatrical process as a research tool. In an examination ofthe artist's role in memorial practice in Northern Ireland, I present case study examinations of the testimonial Theatre of Witness production We Carried Your Secrets (2009) and the Omagh memorial, Constant Light (2008). In an examination of the relationship between memorialisation and the individual experience, these models provide a framework for my own artistic practice - a site-specific community theatre play through which I investigate the concept of oral history performance as a counter-memorial, utilising and interrogating the models of practice examined within my case studies. This thesis draws upon the theories of Pierre Nora, who stated that our propensity to design and fix memory prevents us from experiencing real and ever-changing memory within ourselves. In an engagement with theories surrounding monumental memory and testimonial performance, this study explores how the expression of a lived history is translated into public performance, how it can remain owned by those who generate the material and the potential for such practice to act as a way of memorialising both a place and its people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available