Tag Archives: cities

A ‘ghastly heap of fermenting brickwork’? Cities and progressive politics

Fintan O’Toole’s intriguingly entitled article in Saturday’s Irish Times, ‘The decision that I made on contesting this general election’, got me thinking about a few things. I was enthusiastic about his idea of seeking out people who were active in civil society – whether the arts, business, education or community work – at a local level, but were emphatically not politicians, to contest the election. But at the same time, I could see why such an idea was probably doomed to failure – or at least not to live up to the expectations placed in it – especially given the very short time frame. But it was O’Toole’s citing of Mary O’Rourke’s dismissive comment that all it would amount to would be a ”a few gurus in posh areas” that really made me wonder about why people vote the way they do. Continue reading

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Bricks, Books and Paper: How to build a city

If there’s anywhere you shouldn’t be too surprised to see a biography of Marx peeping out of a Louis Vuitton handbag – in place of the usual Chihuahua – it’s at Overlapping, an exhibition of Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa, currently showing at the IMMA in Dublin. Garaicoa’s work is a series of sculptures and exhibitions; originally trained as an engineer, his work reflects this sense of geometric precision, and much of it is concerned with architecture and the urban environment. His inspiration is the crumbling, fascinating, sprawling landscape of his native Havana, where the architectural legacy of colonialism blends with the more recent rubble of half finished houses and shoddy new blocks built in a hurry. Might sound a little familiar to anyone living in Dublin right now… Continue reading

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