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Volume 8

Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement

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Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space

Placemaking in the New Northern Ireland

Edited by Milena Komarova and Maruška Svašek
Afterword by Dominic Bryan

328 pages, 46 illus., blbliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-937-0 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Not Yet Published (July 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-938-7 eBook Not Yet Published

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“A very welcome and timely contribution… This is a book that manages to be both detailed and insightful in its elaboration of fascinating empirical data whilst also being very strong in its conceptual and methodological contribution.” • Katy Hayward, Queen’s University Belfast

“[This book] represents a valuable addition to the literature on Northern Ireland due to the manner in which it integrates the new with the established, the perspectives of the majority communities with those of the new minority communities and in the way that it foregrounds women’s perspectives.” • Neil Jarman, Queen’s University Belfast


Exploring the complex dynamics of twenty-first century spatial sociality, this volume provides a much-needed multi-dimensional perspective that undermines the dominant image of Northern Ireland as a conflict-ridden place. Despite touching on memories of ‘The Troubles’ and continuing Unionist-Nationalist tensions, the volume refuses to consider its residents as purely political beings, or to understand processes of placemaking solely through ethnic or national contestations and territoriality. Topics such as the significance of friendship, gender, and popular culture in spatial practices are considered, against the backdrop of the growing presence of migrants, refugees and diasporic groups in the country.

Milena Komarova is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and a Teaching Fellow at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research explores the relationship between public space, place, identity and conflict in urban environments, with a particular focus on ethno-nationally ‘divided’ cities.

Maruška Svašek is Reader in the School of History and Anthropology, Queens University Belfast, and Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Recent major publications include Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production (2007), Emotions and Human Mobility: Ethnographies of Movement (2012), Moving Subjects, Moving Objects: Transnationalism, Cultural Production and Emotions (2012), and (with Birgit Meyer) Creativity in Transition. Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe (2016).

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology Urban Studies
Area: Northern Europe


List of Figures

Introduction: Spatiality, Movement and Place-making

Maruška Svašek and Milena Komarova

Chapter 1. Growing up with the Troubles: Reading and Negotiating Space  
Angela Stephanie Mazzeti

Chapter 2. Crafting Identities: Prison Artefacts and Place-Making in Pre- and Post-Ceasefire Northern Ireland
Erin Hinson

Chapter 3. ‘Recalling or Suggesting Phantoms’: Walking in Belfast
Elizabeth DeYoung

Chapter 4. ‘Women on the Peaceline’: Challenging Divisions through the Space of Friendship
Andrea García González

Chapter 5. ‘You Have No Legitimate Reason to Access’: Visibility and Movement in Contested Space
Milena Komarova

Chapter 6. ‘Lifting the Cross’ in West Belfast: Enskilling Crucicentric Vision Through Pedestrian Spatial Practice
Kayla Rush

Chapter 7. Engaging amid Divisions: Social Media as a Space for Political Intervention and Interactions in Northern Ireland
Augusto H. Gazir M. Soares

Chapter 8. Belfast’s Festival of Fools: Sharing Space through Laughter
Nick McCafferty

Chapter 9. Criss-Crossing Pathways: The Indian Community Centre as a Focus of Diasporic and Cross-Community Placemaking
Maruška Svašek

Chapter 10. Sushi or Spuds? Japanese Women and Practices of Emplacement in Northern Ireland
Naoko Maehara

Chapter 11. Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Belfast: Finding ‘Home’ Through Space and Time
Malcolm Franklin

Afterword: Cupar Way or Cupar Street – Integration and Division around a Belfast Wall
Dominic Bryan


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