Abridged 0-91: Waterside

Abridged 0-91: Waterside

remote residency April 2022

Waterside, Derry NI

Abridged 0-91: Waterside

There’s a city called Derry. Or Londonderry. Or Derry/Londonderry. Or Doire. Or a myriad of other things. Calling it Derry, Londonderry, Derry/Londonderry, Doire or this myriad of other things doesn’t of course pay the rent. Within this city is a place called the Waterside. The Waterside is brimful of housing estates, shops and the odd park. The Waterside is opposite the Cityside which is also brimful of housing estates, shops and the odd park. Inhabitants of the Waterside and Cityside traditionally follow different variants of Christianity and in each there are different coloured pieces of cloth hanging limply from lampposts. Gregory McCartney, one of the people behind Abridged, a dastardly poetry and art magazine was born and lives in the Waterside. He’s sure it isn’t impressed.   

I didn’t ask to be born. The anguished cry of ever angst-ridden teen. Well, I didn’t ask to be part of your history either. We’re born naked of creed and culture. These things are wrapped around us at birth, a dark swaddling. We were marked out at birth and then marked again and again throughout our lives by the great gods of narrative. A weird Calvinistic determinism, gothic in its blinkers. It takes away free will. It abridges you. The Abridged originated on a Waterside council estate. I always found it funny that Estate in Italian means ‘summer’ and Clooney (the name of said estate) roughly translates as ‘meadow’. I grew up in a summer meadow! There’s going to be an attempt here to chart things that were, but never just were, the walls and the squares, the codes and the structures. There were good people there, bad people there, very bad people there, and the rest of us making the best of it. This is an attempt to map out the past, to find out the staging posts to a strange little magazine. It’s kind of prophecy in reverse. 

This residency is in partnership with St Augustine’s Heritage Site and it is funded by  Derry City & Strabane District Council.



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