Poland in Northern Ireland, the artistic point of view


Title of the paper: Poland in Northern Ireland, the artistic point of view
Suggested topic: New social structures, new social divisions

In 2002, the five countries with the greatest number of work permit holders in Ireland were Latvia, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland and Romania. Together these countries constituted over 40% of all work permit holders in that year. Following enlargement, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland became full members of the European Union, while Romania as a candidate country is due for entry in 2007.
A reasonably good source of information on the number of immigrants arriving in Ireland is the number of Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers allocated. There were 25,222 such numbers issued to Polish nationals in 2004 and 64,766 in 2005.
This paper would like to have a look at several aspects of work migration from an artistic point of view.

Poland in Northern Ireland
Migration profoundly affects the sense of place of local communities.
Working in Northern Ireland means living in a post-conflict society among two very strong communities.
How are the interactions between migrants and local communities? How are the polish migrant experiences in Northern Ireland?
How are the reception and perceptions of newcomers in Ireland since 1996?
If the work migrants return: What are the issues of identity and belonging among polish work migrants? How are migrant emotions affected in the context of changing status positions?

Not only political- and social science are interested in migration processes. Migration as a subject also gets reflected in the works of artists, which try to find new ways for production and representation of this topic.
To what extend does the art fulfil meanwhile an important political and social role? Can art be “useful” in a civil society sense, if we are dealing with the real problems of migration? Or does the subject of migration help to re-vitalize old concepts of a national culture? Which cultural meaning and social effects has the topic of migration in Northern Ireland and for the extended EU?

This presentation will give several examples of artistic and media approaches to migrant communities in Northern Ireland, empowering a critical discussion about the approaches.

Internetfora and blogs by the polish community in Ireland: www.polskidublin.com www.gazeta.ie www.tpi.poznan.pl www.mojairlandia.pl www.dublinek.net www.obywatel.blog.onet.pl www.wodasodowa.blog.pl www.dublin.blox.pl www.tramyard.blox.pl www.spotlessmind.info www.sistermoon.blog.pl www.eire.blog.gazeta.pl www.irlandia.blog.pl

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