Smith in Belfast: A Radiophonic Ethnodrama
A new 25 minute radiophonic ethnodrama by Paul Antick and Jo Langton, Smith in Belfast is the account of one man's journey through a series of situations and conversations, the contents of which refer in sometimes roundabout ways to the linguistic, legal, architectural, social and sartorial aftermath(s) of 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland. Composed of a series of relatively unsettling, often absurdly oblique vignettes - staged in pubs, ‘chippers’, parks and on street corners - Smith in Belfast culminates in the troubling impersonation - by its English protagonist Smith - of an ex-paramilitary tour guide careering though memories of old photographs and film footage of ‘the Troubles’ in front of a concerned group of visitors somewhere on the Falls Road. As Brexit negotiations stumble on, Smith in Belfast – an expurgated version of which originally aired on Resonance FM in 2017 - is a strange and timely reminder that although the war in Northern Ireland may be over, many of the contradictions that fuelled the conflict there, contradictions that ostensibly turned on the relationship between issues of national sovereignty and social identity, have never been entirely resolved. Smith in Belfast is a radiophonic alert to the possibility that the pain Brexit could conceivably inflict on the province (and beyond) might, in the face of political solipsism and creeping English nationalism, potentially involve more than a hike in the price of wine.
Note that although this production explicitly references some ‘real life’ historical figures and events, and also (apparently) draws on conversations and situations its author enjoyed on the ‘Troubles tours’ of Belfast he attended during the summer of 2014, it, like all of the characters in it, is almost emphatically fictional.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, for non-commercial purpose, no derivatives are permitted. (Please not that this license has been used since 1.10.2018 and will be used in the future. Articles published between 1.1.2017-and 30.9.2018 are licensed under CC BY license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).