In response to ongoing issues of housing, homelessness, and gentrification in Dublin city centre, Fatima Groups United created socially engaged art project, ‘Figures of Eight’.

Working alongside local artist and playwright Veronica Dyas and the Project Arts Centre, members of the Fatima Drama Group delivered a series of ‘performative protests’ based on stories gathered from local people.

Weekly workshops were held to generate conversation, action and reflection around the topics under interrogation, and the resulting performance took the form of a processional play, presented at four different sites across Dublin city centre. Volunteers were involved in scriptwriting, dance, movement and singing, as well and set and costume design and scouting locations for the final performance.

“As a working-class community in the heart of Dublin, a demographic that is increasingly under threat of extinction, we wanted to give a voice to those who are fighting to remain in the city centre,” says Richie Keane of Fatima Groups United. “On a daily basis we see our cultural life and green spaces decimated, and housing replaced by hotels and student accommodation that our young people can’t afford to live in. We wanted to galvanize our community and empower audiences to think creatively about how we can collectively reclaim our place and physically occupy public space.”

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