Fearghus Ó Conchúir, choreographer and dance artist, IRC Fellow at Maynooth Geography and Project Arts, and director of The Casement Project, shares his reflections about the ‘place of the wound’ in Ireland and ‘mapping spectral traces’. Photography Matthew Thompson, courtesy of the artist.
As a choreographer, my particular attention has been to the formation of individual and collective bodies in Ireland under the ‘choreographic’ regimes of colonialism, Catholicism, nationalism and, increasingly, neoliberal capitalism. For example, the assumption that Irish people are no longer the observant Catholics of 50 years ago, risks missing the legacies of that religious hegemony that are still carried in individual bodies and that still shape the environment in which those bodies move.
Choreography – making dances that move and transform – is my means of map-making. I’m reluctant to make maps that are fixed and definitive. Instead, I work with others to build structures that mobilise difficult pasts in a way that makes it possible to imagine new outcomes and different futures.