Contested Site #4 was a co-production with an activist based in the regeneration area of Ballinacurra Weston (unnamed at his request), drawing on material assembled and produced over a period of 10+ years for an online archive called Limerick Regeneration Watch. The realities, the contradictions, the negotiations with power that regeneration has generated are documented, analysed and extensively critiqued through Limerick Regeneration Watch. For the collaborative action the activist selected Clarina Park in Ballinacurra Weston as a site that exemplifies many of the conflicting logics that characterise discourses of regeneration in Limerick.

Having been ‘degenerated’ over a period of years, 49 houses that made up the Clarina Park estate were eventually demolished, and the population dispersed in 2012, ostensibly to make way for new development. Eight years later development has failed to materialise, a fact sometimes attributed to the financial crash of 2008. Dissenting local voices see it otherwise, describing it as a ‘state sponsored land grab’ (McCarthy, Collins and Daly, 2009). Ballinacurra Weston is one of the areas identified in the 2007 Fitzgerald Report recommendations to ‘...unlock the value of lands, all of which are within a short distance of the city centre...’ (Fitzgerald, 2007: 14). The image on the right is an interpretation of a map from the Limerick Regeneration Masterplan (LCCC, 2008) which shows a number of houses around the cleared site of Clarina Park that were designated for demolition, without the knowledge of the owners, to make entrances for a new road system to support the development of an estate of new houses, which has not yet taken place. 
Contested Site # 4
Contested Site # 4

Installation at Limerick School of Art & Design, May 2018

Contested Space 4 diagrammatic
Contested Space 4 diagrammatic

Double-page spread from broadsheet for installation

Contested Site #4
Contested Site #4

Double-page spread from broadsheet for installation

Contested Site # 4
Contested Site # 4

Installation at Limerick School of Art & Design, May 2018

1/5
episodic frame 2.jpg

Still image from Episodic Frames, work in development

Contested Site #4 has generated a number of works, some of which are still in progress. A work commissioned for EVA biennale in Limerick for 2020, with the partially redacted title
                                                                 :Informational Aesthetic,
had to be discontinued for political reasons. The work has been discussed in a chapter in Gentrification Around the World, Volume 1: Gentrifiers and the Displaced, (Krase and De Sena, 2020) published by Palgrave McMillan, titled 'Visualising the contrary logics of regeneration through collaborative arts practice', available here. An audio-visual work is also in development, titled Episodic Frames, based on images of Clarina Park from 2009 that are still available on Google Earth. 

Thanks goes to the unnamed activist whose research and knowledge was essential to the production of the work and to Lucia Pola for graphic design of the broadsheet. 

 

Fitzgerald, J., 2007, Addressing Issues of Social Exclusion in Moyross and other disadvantaged areas of Limerick City; Report to the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion, Govt. of Ireland, Available at http://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/migrated-files/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Housing/FileDownLoad%2C3506%2Cen.pdf [Accessed June 2018].​

 

Limerick City and County Council, 2008, Limerick Regeneration Masterplan, Limerick: LCCC.

McCarthy, C., Collins, M. and Daly, T., 2009, Residents want Regeneration chief sacked! on Limerick Regeneration Watch, Available at http://www.limerickregeneration.org/KennysGottaGo.html [Accessed 17th June 2021].