Dealing with difference: collective discussion of independent spaces in Dublin

When? 16th of April, 7pm

Where? 40 Dominic’s street Upper, Dublin 1


An event organised by the Provisional University with the participation of Sam Bishop (Granby Park); Barry Semple (Seomra Spraoi); Seoidín O’Sullivan (South Circular Rd. community garden); and Exchange Dublin. 

At a recent event on the creative uses of vacant spaces, the Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn made the point that creativity had a role to play in reducing ‘anti-social behaviour’ in vacant spaces. In reality, however, creative spaces often bring together people who are different, some of whom may be experiencing issues around homelessness, addiction or mental health. In fact, our research into independent spaces in Dublin found that the majority of spaces have had to negotiate issues around challenging behaviour. This is going to become even more of an issue as existing resources to support people in the city are reduced.

This scenario recently came into stark relief when Temple Bar Cultural Trust, which is linked to Dublin City Council, took the decision to terminate the lease of Exchange Dublin citing problems with ‘anti-social behaviour’. This came as a surprise to most people who know Exchange as an all ages, inclusive and alcohol free space. Exchange had also been trying to engage more sensitively with the reality of young and vulnerable people in the area. While this is a complex and difficult task, especially for voluntary run spaces, it offers an alternative to simply identifying and excluding certain people and behaviour as ‘anti-social’ and ‘undesirable’.

This event brings together participants in projects such as Exchange, Granby Park, Seomra Spraoi and the South Circular Rd. community garden, to share experiences and reflections in relation to the negotiation of challenging behaviour in Dublin’s independent spaces.

The event is free and registration is not required


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