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ERIC Number: EJ1106383
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Aesthetics at the Impasse: The Unresolved Property of Dale Farm
McCarthy, Lynne
Research in Drama Education, v20 n1 p74-86 2015
"Soil Depositions" was an art activist project that responded to the 2011 Irish Traveller eviction at Dale Farm in Essex when three resident women donated small amounts of soil from the site of their former home. The soil was subsequently deposited, framed and documented in various national and international locations. This article discusses how the soil was dispersed and where this holds significance for the practice of nomadism in the UK, which through a series of legislation has been increasingly prohibited. The analysis attempts to bring clarity to the planning system discrepancies encountered by Dale Farm residents, and in doing so, generalises the common contemporary situation experienced by Travellers in the UK. These experiences are correlated to Lauren Berlant's idea of the "impasse", which works as an affective descriptor of the post-eviction situation. The project aesthetically mediates the "impasse" by reconfiguring the soil in primarily mundane and inconspicuous circumstances, and by symbolising the unresolved nature of Traveller claims to property. The aesthetic possibilities for reworking this razed soil were equally unresolved: it is cast within the project in both cultural and economic terms as material with little capacity for exchange. I draw on Appadurai's concept of the "methodological fetish" to suggest that the soil's economic and cultural efficacy is dependent on a desire to give value to Traveller property.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A