This is a protest poem, in pictures. Because that’s all we have. Words, images and a sense that not all is right in the capital. The spaces that once existed to do things, studios for art or rehearsal, spaces in which to perform, to sell, or to show, are disappearing. The names of venues read like they should be on the foot of a cenotaph. The fallen in a cultural war.
We’re not out to claim, like a pair of pub bores, that it was better in the past, or that in our day there weren’t any hotels, because it was all fields with a poet on every corner. This isn’t looking backwards. We’re looking forward. What is the future of a city that pushes its art and denizens to fringes? Some kinda Joycean theme park with a Diageo-sponsored Liffey and rain imported from California so Google can say its workers feel at home. A National Gallery full of algorithms. Children of millionaires crowding our screens, and screens on every wall. Statues of great CEOs who stretched the letter of the tax laws like elastic. Museums of tenements built in 2017.
Cities change and are in constant flux. We can’t say whether it’ll be good or bad in the long-term. Perhaps the world will burn long before it comes to that. But we can say: state of this gaff, we don’t like it. And we can do whatever’s in our power to get our point across. And this is it.