Guest post: Instant Dissidence | Brexit means… Antagonism

GEOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT

DAY 28 – 10TH OCTOBER 2018

MARSDEN VILLAGE TO THE LOWRY (SALFORD)

21,3 MILES ON FOOT

A BLOCKED FACEBOOK AD

About a week before that day, Tamsin had let me know that a Facebook ad that Word of Warning had first tried to place to advertise One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa had been blocked by Facebook… Here is the screenshot of the block:

image text 1

Tamsin thought that the problem might be that the copy for One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa contains the word ´Brexit´, and so we agreed to edit it out: the add was then accepted by Facebook.

THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS ON THE ADD

On the 10th October Leentje Van de Cruys (Salford collaborator), Juliet Davis (filmmaker) and I make our way towards The Lowry: as we walk we share each other’s Brexit testimonies, we laugh, we create the work that we will show in the theatre that evening, and we find ourselves enjoying the beautiful Autumnal scenery by the canal.

At some point I receive a communication from festival organiser Tamsin Drury to let me know that “The Lowry Facebook add has garnered a lot of Brextremist bile in comments”. For context, I have decided to publish them below (names withheld, photos deleted, and spelling mistakes left as they were):

Date of when comments were received: 10 October 2018 at 12:08:30 BST

Comments:

Name withheld So many nasty comments here. I really pity you since the only way you can feel happy is by being cruel to others. So many of you quote democracy but don’t accept that this also means to respect the validity of other opinions. You can still feel compassion and be kind even if you think Brexit is a good idea. Why is it so important to you to be cruel to people who think differently from you? Usually we lash out against those who make us feel threatened. What do you feel threatened by? I am sorry you feel so much pain that you can only endure it by being cruel to other people.

3 hours ago

Name withheld As if that we’re going to happen.

4 hours ago

Name withheld Tim but we would not be fighting amongst ourselves in Europe.

13 hours ago

 Name withheld Angela wow… you should really get to know and mix with some of the Irish residents who flit between Eire and the UK regularly.

13 hours ago

 Name withheld Tim Well you KNOW that ain’t going to happen. It’s the bankers, hedge fund managers and asset-management companies who will benefit from Brexit by avoiding the EU’s crackdown.

13 hours ago

Name withheld We keep forgetting that when we joined it was called common market no one then ever thought it would become a dictatorship and political union so you remoners just leave we will manage without you, we are leaving deal or no

14 hours ago

Name withheld Wow… You should really read up on Ireland…

15 hours ago

Name withheld Bye bye don’t worry we won’t miss a person most of us have never heard of.

17 hours ago

Name withheld The Lowry links don’t work!

17 hours ago

Name withheld shut the door on your way out

20 hours ago

Name withheld Someone tell her no one cares

21 hours ago

Name withheld You’re either being ironic and failing badly or flunked History massively at school.

a day ago

Name withheld Perhaps I should qualify my statement-Irish people.

a day ago

 Name withheld Tim you seem to be labouring under the illusion that the only way to guarantee peace is through military intervention. The EU was created to built such strong bonds through trade, educational and scientific interchange that war would literally be unthinkable.

a day ago

Name withheld Bye !

2 days ago

Name withheld Oh well never mind.

2 days ago

Name withheld never heard of her , bye bye

2 days ago

Name withheld Not even good bye, just “have you gone yet”

2 days ago

Name withheld I hope her Irish improves. An chéad damhsa means ‘the first dance’.

2 days ago

Name withheld Oh dear!! History says opposite.

2 days ago

Name withheld If she’s so fickle and feint hearted good riddance.

3 days ago

Name withheld Oh dear!&!?!&

3 days ago

 Name withheld Any chance that the owners of the factory you work in might decide to walk too????

3 days ago

Name withheld Factory ?!!! I don’t work in a bank either but any bankers leaving the country should be arrested and forced to hand back all the public bale out money before they leave ?

3 days ago

Name withheld You think the Irish are as ignorant as the English ??

3 days ago

Name withheld John you mean they never will because every time they will be told to vote again – and meekly capitulate !

4 days ago

Name withheld I’m referring to a previous comment suggesting the EU guarantees peace – regarding your link the writer appears sketchy on detail and even backtracks somewhat … and the EU is much more than a trading agreement !! Anyway neither of us will change our minds so best leave it there eh ?!!

4 days ago

Name withheld Ireland have used and abused Britain for years Britain has been very generous to Irish citizens and it may yet be their loss not ours when we leave.

5 days ago

Name withheld so long, farewell, adio, aurevoir,goodnbye. plenty of real artists around so you will not be missed. looks like a free ad to me

5 days ago

Name withheld At last, – a Bremoaner who’s actually walked, come on the rest of you put your words into action !!!

5 days ago

Name withheld Cheerio ️

5 days ago

 Name withheld Frances, you confuse the EU with the Eurozone. Do some basic research and you’ll find that only 19 countries are in the EZ. The EU’s biggest achievement is keeping the peace on a continent ravaged by a century of war. I can only assume you’re looking forward to those days returning.

5 days ago

Name withheld I don’t remember the EU ever getting involved in Northern Ireland or Basque separatism or doing anything about Bosnia till it was too late ? The EU didn’t kick the Soviet Union out of East Germany and they didn’t depose Franco ? If the EU disappeared up in smoke tomorrow and some mystery baddy appeared as you suggest we would fight them together as we successfully did in the previous two major conflicts.

5 days ago

Name withheld Tim, it’s the golden age of the Internet. Google it before you make yourself look ignorant and on such a public forum https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-42412972

5 days ago

Name withheld Regards Bosnia, East Germany and Franco, you also appear to be confused. The EU is a ******TRADING AGREEMENT****** If there was a hostage negotiation in your town, would you expect the managers from your local ASDA to come and resolve it? I have highlighted this so you know the difference. The EU did not exist in its current form during the 80s. Nevertheless, here’s a writeup on that. https://politipond.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/the-berlin-wall-the-centerpiece-of-european-integration/ You appear extremely confused about what the European Union is and what it isn’t. I recommend you educate yourself, so you’re ready for the next referendum.

5 days ago

Name withheld John, they never do have a response other than an aggressive display of sheer ignorance.

5 days ago

Name withheld bye

6 days ago

Name withheld This blurb for a pretentious play I’d soo hilarious I must remember to send it in to Private Eye!

6 days ago

Name withheld Ireland have far more sense – they prefer to be in the largest trading organisation in the world, have freedom to travel live and work in any one of the 27 countries of the Union, have the freedom to be educated in the EU, have the protection and negotiating muscle of the EU in trade agreements thus keeping price down and above all they want to avoid a fall in the value of their currency, see jobs and services migrate to the EU, and avoid beng a country riven in two and the encouragement of bigotry, hatred and racism. That apart, I can’t think of a single reason why they wouldn’t want to leave. As Father Ted would say “”brexit my arse”.

6 days ago

Name withheld John they fought thousands of years for there freedom from England and you are saying they are happy with this lot I don’t think so

6 days ago

Name withheld Beatrice Ireland has always escewed right wing politics.

6 days ago

Name withheld Mark no they havent

6 days ago

Name withheld John you spout a load of crap, we all know the republic is in a bad way as is the rest of the 27 countries, the euro won’t last much longer the whole idea of the single currency was a mistake.

6 days ago

Name withheld Assume what you like – if using silly labels to describe people turns you on then be my guest. I do note that you have no response to the point made. It’s pretty sad.

6 days ago

Name withheld So what will she do if ireland 🇮🇪 decide to leave

7 days ago

 Name withheld Democracy my backside. If by democracy you mean the 52% of those who voted and who voted Brexit then you need a few lessons in democracy. We live in a Parliamentary Democracy where we are represented by MP’s who take decisions on our behalf given their knowledge and experience; the majority of MP’s are pro remain. Given the importance of a Brexit vote it should have been a free vote – they are not mere cyphers – Corbyn imposed a 3 line whip. If he had led a pro-remain Opposition there could have been an end to Brexit. Next, where referendums are used, on a matter of such economic, financial and social importance other countries require a vote of at least 50% of the total electorate – we had less than 40%. Even the UK acknowledges this – the Scottish Independence Referendum required 40% of the total electorate to vote for it – it lost because it didn’t get 40%, but it got more than those who voted for Brexit (around the mid 30% mark). Some democracy. Next, the referendum was advisory only – advisory only means just that. We live in a Parliamentary Democracy where MP’s decide and not some advisory referendum voted for by less than 40% of the electorate. The referendum was binary – it was meaningless because no alternative conditions to leaving were considered. The referendum was informed by 40 years of extreme Right Wing propa-ganda and a gutter press backed by a few out of touch Bennite Marxists who hate anything democratic. In any other country that uses referendums the decision lies with their Parliament. Switzerland is the exemplar. The population voted to restrict freedom of movement of U citizens but the Government ignored it because they knew it would be an economic disaster for Switzerland. Finally, 3 million EU citizens who live, work, pay taxes and contribute socially to the UK were not given the vote. Many UK citizens living in the EU and who would want to retire to the UK were not given the vote, and 16-18 year olds who can marry, work, pay tax and join the Forces were not given the vote. The overwhelming majority would have voted to remain in the EU.

7 days ago

Name withheld John I assume you are a remoaner.

7 days ago

 

CONSEQUENCES…

Over the years creating work which is explicitly political I have come to expect incidents such as this. When it happens, however, it still takes me by surprise.

After receiving the communication Juliet, Leentje and I decide to interrupt our walk, stop at a pub, have something to eat, and discuss any measures that we might need to take in case the Facebook antagonism spills out from online life into real life during the show. A particular concern was that, for The Lowry performance, One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa was being shown as a double bill, the first part of which being a piece created/performed by Leentje and her 2 children. So we discussed what measures we might take to protect them should any abuse occur during the show from any members of the audience, including stopping the show. Having agreed on a set of measures we resume the walk.

I am pleased that no incidents occurred later on during the performance, but this incident was a reminder of the degree of antagonism and division of opinion in existence in British society today.

Read Instant Dissidence’s performingborders guest post in September 2018

Read Rita’s interview with performingborders in May 2018 

performingborders is a ONE LAST DANCE – AN CHÉAD DAMHSA partner. The online platform will follow Rita Marcalo’s journey from Guildford (UK) to Cloughjordan (Ireland) through the publication of Rita’s reflections during the unfolding of her journey, and two interviews with the artist – one at the beginning and one at the end of the project – by Alessandra Cianetti. More information will be available soon on onelastdance-ancheaddamhsa.tumblr.com

Instant Dissidence is a UK/Ireland-based company directed by me, Rita Marcalo. It is my way of bringing different artists together, in different combinations, to realise different ideas: through Instant Dissidence I invent ways of offering other people art experiences. My practice began in dance/choreography but eventually I became more interested in communicating concepts than in sticking to a particular art form. I began collaborating with others to create work in different media, and today I bring in people from different areas to solve creative problems. Instant Dissidence’s is also a socially-engaged practice where the company foregrounds the role that dance/choreography can play as a social engine: we are ‘artivists’ who believe in the power of connecting art and social consciousness.

Featured image credits: Juliet Davis

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