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Contribution to Book
Performing ‘the Troubles’: Murals and the Spectacle of Commemoration at Free Derry Corner
Crossroads: Performance Studies and Irish Culture (2009)
  • Matthew Spangler, San Jose State University
‘But it’s not a performance.’ The tour guide turned to me and said it again, ‘It’s not a performance. It’s the truth. We’re telling our story. We’re telling what really happened. Bloody Sunday, Battle of the Bogside: we’re getting our story out there. That’s what it’s about.’ We were standing atop Derry’s seventeenth-century city walls, a group of nine foreign tourists, overlooking the Bogside, when I suggested to our guide that the area around Free Derry Corner resembles a stage set in performance. The guide was employed by the Museum of Free Derry’s Bloody Sunday Centre to give hour-long walking tours of the Bogside and city walls, which offer panoramic views of Derry’s historically Catholic and Nationalist neighborhood. Though he could not have been older than 30, and thus could not have lived through the events he referred to, the idea that their memorialization and public display might be termed a performance seemed to strike him as an offence.
Publication Date
Sara Brady and Fintan Walsh
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Matthew Spangler. "Performing ‘the Troubles’: Murals and the Spectacle of Commemoration at Free Derry Corner" New York, NYCrossroads: Performance Studies and Irish Culture (2009) p. 100 - 113
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