Homing in on the States we are In: Speaking of IMELDA

Book chapter


Mccarthy, L., Larragy, M, Henry, C., O’Brien, T., Ní Bhloscaidh, T., Hanlon, S., Walsh, H. and O’Toole, S. 2021. Homing in on the States we are In: Speaking of IMELDA. in: McAuliffe, M., Pine, E. and Haughton, M. (ed.) Legacies of the Magdalen Laundries: Commemoration, Gender and Systems of Abuse Manchester University Press. pp. 234-253
AuthorsMccarthy, L., Larragy, M, Henry, C., O’Brien, T., Ní Bhloscaidh, T., Hanlon, S., Walsh, H. and O’Toole, S.
EditorsMcAuliffe, M., Pine, E. and Haughton, M.
Abstract

This chapter analyses a performance lecture, Terminal, given during the conference 1916: Home: 2016 by Speaking of IMELDA. A multi-generational group of London-based Irish feminists, Speaking of IMELDA (2014-2018) used performance, film, and media interventions at public events to campaign for repeal of the 8th Amendment while building on solidarities between abortion seekers travelling to the UK and the Irish diaspora. Terminal explored the histories of coercive control over women’s bodies in Ireland, centring on tensions between the ideals in the 1916 Proclamation and women’s lived experiences during the century after 1916. Members discuss how Terminal grew out of Speaking of IMELDA’s public interventions in Irish abortion discourses. In Terminal, many members recognised the performance as an act of research, probing deep connections between the 8th Amendment and how women’s rights have been policed in Ireland through contraception, incarceration, and religious social control. Re-enacting these astonishing female experiences welded the immediacy of IMELDA’s direct actions to a new method of reperforming trauma and its effects, to understand more nuanced connections between past and present. This account from IMELDAs involved in devising and staging Terminal reflects on wider roles they enacted while building upon multiple backgrounds, perspectives, and understanding of those herstories.

Keywordsfeminist activism; Ireland; performance; 8th Amendment; Magdalene Laundries
Book titleLegacies of the Magdalen Laundries: Commemoration, Gender and Systems of Abuse
Page range234-253
Year2021
PublisherManchester University Press
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Publication dates
Print23 Nov 2021
Online23 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Dec 2020
ISBN9781526150806
9781526166555
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.7765/9781526150813.00022
Copyright holder© The Authors, 2021
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