Much work has been attempted to forge identities beyond the dominant topographies of the political divisions within Northern Ireland; divisions which are expressed most visibly in the so-called 'peace line', a fortified wall that separates communities in West Belfast. The dominant ideologies within the state of Northern Ireland, Britain and internationally, seek to emphasise commonality between communities as a means of diverting attention from the gulfs between them that have been and remain unresolved politically and structurally. In the face of such strategies, the staging of a play in 1997 devised within a Republican community in West Belfast might appear to be a perverse assertion of difference at grass-roots level. Binlids was a community play that explicitly attempted to replace dominant images imposed from without on that community with ones recognized as authentic within it. Lambasted by critics, politicians and state representatives, it was fêted within its own immediate community, thereby articulating the discrepancies between the different forces of social identity construction at work in Northern Ireland and other contested contexts.
Maguire, Tom, Binlids at the Boundaries of Being: A West Belfast Community Stages an Authentic Self, Kunapipi, 22(2), 2000.