The Pale Project with dlr Writer in Residence Selina Guinness

What is “The Pale Project”?

We all know where we live but we don’t always get the chance to consider what it means to inhabit a place or how it might shape our daily lives, habits, our dreams. “The Pale Project” aims to do just that. In a series of dedicated workshops, lectures and public events, this year’s residency will focus on dwelling and thinking in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Who is it for?

“The Pale Project” is open to all curious thinkers and writers: young and old; temporary, new and established residents, the able-bodied and able-minded, and those who feel less so. Together, we’ll undertake a fresh approach to writing by becoming active explorers of our everyday lives.

Why call it “The Pale Project”?

The Pale” describes the area around Dublin controlled by English colonists in the fifteenth century. It is still a loaded term, describing a place where civilised behaviour, property rights and the political might to enforce them, all coincide. The phrase, ‘beyond the Pale’ also carries a charge, describing lawless behaviour, wild territories, and a way of living supposedly beyond the reckoning of “civilised minds”.

A map of 1488 shows the Pale boundary beginning at Bulloch Harbour and running in to Mount Merrion, before turning in to Dundrum, and on across the hills to Tallaght. This line through the county, tracking from the sea to the mountains, will provide our starting point for thinking about what makes us feel settled and unsettled, what makes us feel secure, or excluded or estranged in a place.

What will we do?

The writer-in-residence invites applications from writers, artists, historians, walkers, readers and idlers to two exciting series of workshops, starting on 30th September 2015.

It is expected that participants will commit to both series of workshops.

Series 1: The Pale Project – Field Notes.  September – November 2015.

Participants will nominate their own individual dlr territory to act as their ‘Pale’. This could be a park or an estate, an institution or a set of streets, a mountain, a few fields, a pier or a bathing place. It doesn’t have to be where you live. What’s important is that you enjoy documenting the way life is lived and dreamed there in stories, images, eccentric maps, songs, walks, catalogue entries, byelaws, and good conversations.

Each participant will create their own scrapbook of field-notes about their territory by completing small weekly tasks. These might include mapping items of interest in your territory, recording an interview with a resident, researching a notable death and writing up a charter for new citizens of the territory. The aim is to play with documentary methods to open up new perspectives on everyday life.

Each week, participating explorers will share their discoveries about their Pale and we will explore some of the key questions and ideas opened up by the project.

Series 2: The Pale Project – New Writing.  January – March 2016.

This series of workshops will focus on showing you different ways to use your discoveries about place to write creatively. Armed with your field-notes, you may choose to write in whatever form, and from whatever perspective, suits you best: essays, articles, poetry, plays, scripts, fiction of all kinds, documentary, memoir, diaries – anything so long as words are your primary tool. Collaborations too, are encouraged, across art forms and among participants.

Each week, we’ll be focused on bringing your own words to life with supportive discussion, recommended readings, and exercises in storytelling. Writing the first draft may be an individual challenge, but few books you read are the product of just one pen!

Workshops: When and Where?

When: Wednesdays, 6 pm – 7.30 pm.

Venue: Meeting Room – DLR Lexicon.

Dates: Series 1: 30th September 2015 – 25th November 2015. [No workshop 28th October]

Series 2: 20th January 2016 – 9th March 2016. [No workshop 17th February]

Selection Criteria:

The Pale Project is a collective psychogeography project aimed at mapping a diverse range of locales and experiences across Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown county in 2015 – 2016. It is open to anyone, over the age of eighteen, who wishes to take part. Participants will be selected to provide as diverse a group, and as diverse a geographical spread, as possible to achieve this aim. The Pale Project would particularly like to encourage new residents in the county, and those settled here temporarily, to apply.

Evidence of open-mindedness, creative ambition, and an interest in new ideas and approaches is more important than prior writing experience, though clear expression in English and the ability to stick to guidelines are desirable.

Applicants who have not availed of the dlr Writer-in-Residence programme in the past will be prioritized.

The writer-in-residence and a member of the dlr Arts Office will assess all applications. This decision is final.

Workshops: How To Apply?

Please email The Pale Project at dlrcocowriter@gmail.com, and clearly include the details below in an attached Word document, labelled “The Pale Project – [your name]”.

Paper Applications can be submitted to The Arts Office, dlr Lexicon, marked ‘Attn. Selina Guinness: The Pale Project – Workshops’

Deadline for Receipt of Applications: 4pm, Monday 21st September.

Application Details Required (Answers please in a Word document, labelled ‘The Pale Project – (your name here)’)

  • Your Name:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Address / Contact Details:
  • Tel / Mobile:
  • Email:

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Where would you like to nominate as your chosen Pale? This territory must be within the county of Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown. It should be no bigger an area than you can comfortably track on a walk. (max. 300 words).
  2. Describe why you would like to choose this territory as your ‘Pale’ (max 300 words).
  3. Please outline what attracts you to participating in this project, and what it might mean to you at this stage in your life. (max. 300 words).
  4. If you already engage in a creative practice (writing / arts / crafts / music etc), please describe briefly what you do. (max 300 words). There is no need to include samples of your work.
  5. Have you participated in a previous programme run by the dlr Writer-in-Residence scheme?  If so, please give details of the year and facilitator.

All queries should be addressed to Selina Guinness at dlrcocowriter@gmail.com.

Fill out the attached application form, save it as “Pale Project (add your name)” and return it by attached Word document to dlrcocowriter@gmail.com.

Paper Applications can be submitted to The Arts Office, dlr Lexicon, marked ‘Attn. Selina Guinness: The Pale Project – Workshops’

Deadline for Receipt of Applications: 4pm, Monday 21st September.

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