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Continuous theatre for a creative city

This chapter analyses the discourses and practices of the creative economy and reveals its fraught relationship to forms of labour and leisure it has supposedly replaced. The conversion of the Nantes shipyards into a tourist and cultural destination and base of operations for street theatre company La Machine has reconfigured the site as both public space and workspace. In keeping with the model of the creative city, spectators are invited to actively participate in the project, but this chapter questions the nature of that participation. The chapter further demonstrates that La Machine company members must simultaneously be industrial workers and replace them; they embody past repertoires even as they herald a post-Fordist transition to affective or immaterial labour. Ultimately this urban redevelopment project and its theatrical components must promote the selective memory of industry's success while smoothing over the rupture of its collapse.

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space

The chapter maps the nursing practices on active service overseas that recovered men including, body care, feeding work, the management of pain and support for the dying. These four areas of nursing practice are commonly associated with nursing work, yet, as the chapter argues, in war zones, they demanded complex gendered negotiations. Comfort care placed the single female nurse too close to the naked male body and feeding work was allied to mothering, rather than professional practice. In the absence of sufficient medical officers in a war zone, pain relief demanded the development of scientific skills of diagnosis and prescription. The chapter examines how the nurses managed these contradictions to develop an understanding of the critical role of fundamental nursing care and create a space for themselves as experts by the bedside.

in Negotiating nursing
The pastoral responses of the Irish churches to emigration

From an Irish clergyman's point of view, by far the worst of the iniquities facing migrants was the perceived threat to their faith. Reports of nativist attacks on churches in the United States, for example, may have prompted 'gasconade, froth, foam and fury' in the Irish Catholic press, but the churches that had yet to be built were the real barriers to incoming migrants' religious participation. While the notion that mass emigration from Ireland began in the 1840s is certainly outmoded, it would seem that the formal, organised involvement of the Irish churches in the religious care of diaspora communities was largely a mid-nineteenth century phenomenon. Irish Anglicans who emigrated before 1815 were the best served as far as spiritual matters were concerned, benefitting from an organisation that was specifically dedicated to sending clergy to their destinations.

in Population, providence and empire
Emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence

The idea that mass migration from nineteenth-century Ireland created an Irish 'empire' has had enduring appeal. Yet as many historians of Ireland, its diaspora and particularly the Irish Catholic Church have noted, the existence of a peculiarly Irish 'spiritual empire' was widely spoken of even as the country's ports remained choked with emigrants. A merging of Irish migration and religious history demands a more detailed and focused treatment of what was a long-running and widespread facet of the clerical discussion of emigration. This chapter looks at the set of ideas that lay behind the concept of a special emigrants' mission. It then traces the development of its expression and any challenges to it, including parallel evocations of the concept from Irish Protestant clergy. The chapter examines some important practical consequences of emigration and the 'spiritual empire' for the Irish churches.

in Population, providence and empire
Open Access (free)
Female theatre workers and professional practice

Stage women, 1900–50 explores the many ways in which women conceptualised, constructed and participated in networks of professional practice in the theatre and performance industries between 1900 and 1950. A timely volume full of original research, the book explores women’s complex negotiations of their agency over both their labour and public representation, and their use of personal and professional networks to sustain their careers. Including a series of case studies that explore a range of well-known and lesser-known women working in theatre, film and popular performance of the period. The volume is divided into two connected parts. ‘Female theatre workers in the social and theatrical realm’ looks at the relationship between women’s work – on- and offstage – and autobiography, activism, technique, touring, education and the law. Part II, ‘Women and popular performance’, focuses on the careers of individual artists, once household names, including Lily Brayton, Ellen Terry, radio star Mabel Constanduros, and Oscar-winning film star Margaret Rutherford. Overall, the book provides new and vibrant cultural histories of women’s work in the theatre and performance industries of the period.

Open Access (free)

The chapter examines Patricio Guzmán’s film Nostalgia for the Light, which is set in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The film juxtaposes the search of astronomers for the origins of the universe and that of archaeologists for the remnants of humans who passed through the desert – as well as the women who comb the desert floor for the remains of their disappeared relatives. The chapter argues that Guzmán’s film can be seen as an example of what Jacques Rancière calls the politics of aesthetics, and induces new ways of seeing.

in Change and the politics of certainty
Working memories

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space explores how street theatre transforms industrial space into postindustrial space. Deindustrializing communities have increasingly turned to cultural projects to commemorate industrial heritage while simultaneously generating surplus value and jobs in a changing economy. Through analysis of French street theatre companies working out of converted industrial sites, this book reveals how theatre and performance more generally participate in and make historical sense of ongoing urban and economic change. The book argues, firstly, that deindustrialization and redevelopment rely on the spatial and temporal logics of theatre and performance. Redevelopment requires theatrical events and performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts. The book proposes working memory as a central metaphor for these processes. The book argues, secondly, that in contemporary France street theatre has emerged as working memory's privileged artistic form. If the transition from industrial to postindustrial space relies on theatrical logics, those logics will manifest differently depending on geographic context. The book links the proliferation of street theatre in France since the 1970s to the crisis in Fordist-Taylorist modernity. How have street theatre companies converted spaces of manufacturing into spaces of theatrical production? How do these companies (with municipal governments and developers) connect their work to the work that occurred in these spaces in the past? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to redevelopment? Street theatre’s function is both economic and historiographic. It makes the past intelligible as past and useful to the present.

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The clergy and emigration in principle

This chapter assesses how members of the clergy regarded emigration as an economic principle. That Ireland's problems could be dispensed with alongside a portion of its population became a common belief in the depressed decades following the Anglo-French wars. In the 1820s and 1830s, there were both Protestant and Catholic clergy who were in principle in favour of state encouragement of emigration, though often for very different reasons. It should be noted that the Congested Districts Board, with which both Catholic and Protestant clergy closely co-operated, undertook migration and wasteland reclamation in the 1890s, but not without considerable difficulty and expense. A majority of all clergy in the 1830s believed that emigration could form part of the solution to Ireland's problems and were open to its encouragement, direction or organisation, whether by the state or by private bodies.

in Population, providence and empire
Open Access (free)
Street and theatre at the end of Fordism

This chapter interrogates contemporary French street theatre's dominant origin stories, which link the form to the festive protests of May 1968 and to a premodern carnivalesque. After the collapse of the Fordist compromise, street theatre is supposed to have reanimated public space through its transgression of boundaries and its invocation of a pre-industrial past. This chapter brings together street theatre historiography and analysis of key performances by Théâtre de l’Unité and Générik Vapeur to examine the complex and at times contradictory connections between street theatre’s anti-functionalist politics and its anti-theatrical prejudices. Ultimately the chapter argues that street theatre thrives in the remains of the modern industrial city because of its anxious relationship to a mythic urban ideal. This examination of street theatre's complex nostalgia challenges persistent assumptions about street theatre's temporal, spatial, and political work.

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Open Access (free)

The chapter examines two projects that work to support relatives in their demand for justice after enforced disappearances in Mexico: the Huellas de la Memoria/Footprints of Memory project begun by Alfredo López, and Forensic Architecture’s Cartography of Violence, an interactive platform detailing the enforced disappearance of forty-three Ayotzinapa students. The two projects are very different, but both use and transform traces of disappearance to demand justice and both involve slow and painstaking work. One traces the footprints of relatives searching for missing people, and the other the traces in phone records, witness accounts and official reports of the abduction of the Ayotzinapa students.

in Change and the politics of certainty