Writer-in-Residence DLRCoCo, 2015.

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 amateurs: 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 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 join a different and exciting series of workshops from mid-September 2015. Participants will choose their own 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 jokes, stories, images, eccentric maps, songs, walks, catalogue entries, byelaws, and good conversations. These explorations will be carefully guided by a series of small tasks, and supported by readings and guest lectures. From January 2016, participants will be encouraged to create their own writing out of this renewed sense of place.

This workshop is designed for people who may never have written before, but who are curious about the contemporary issues raised by the term ‘Pale’,  and who want to explore experimental and new modes of documentary that track the boundaries of social engagement, geography and the arts.


Further details on how to apply will be announced in early September. See http://www.thepaleproject.wordpress.com In the interim, please express your interest by emailing Selina Guinness at  dlrococowriter@gmail.com.

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