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Dind(Dinn)schenchas - The Mythological Rituals of Contested Cartographies

Part 2 Project 2020
Caitlin Mullard
Newcastle University | UK
The landscape of County Armagh, Northern Ireland, mediates between enduring mythologies and fragmented memory. The troubled cartographies have witnessed perpetual quests for sovereignty and ascendency. The land appears to be particularly venerated by the people of Ireland, the importance of this connection featuring prominently in Irish literature, particularly the Dindschenchas (set of Irish mythologies).

The unearthing of repressed memory and spectral traces is undertaken by the seanchaí (roaming storyteller). The compressing of histories and the obsessive tracing out of the terrain can curate new myths within a non-linear narrative. A temporality exists where the past and present co-exist, drift and merge. The apparatus deployed on the landscape seek to be doubly operative: digging, finding and exposing on one hand, and relating, connecting and structuring on the other. These interventions embody the idea that the ontological status of the landscape has the capacity to critically engage metaphysical and political programmes.

Caitlin Mullard


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