Belfast in The Fall: Post-Conflict Geographies of Violence and Gender

John Lynch

Abstract


This article examines the TV series The Fall in terms of the relationship to its location in the city of Belfast. Viewing the process of production and dramatization as intrinsically linked to aspects of the city from a post-conflict perspective, the paper examines how issues of onscreen violence and gender are worked out in this context of economic regeneration in operation since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The introduction of a fictional serial killer to the province after decades of violence and a fragile peace process can be seen as an attempt to normalize the region in the popular imagination. The paper firstly examines the various ways that the older geography and spatial markers of the city are incorporated into the series and characters. At times used by the director to add a sense of unresolved social tension and spectral presence of simmering violence, the city and its history provide a repressed background to the foregrounded conflict. This is examined further by framing the series as an example of third-wave Troubles drama where cultural production plays an important role in the stabilizing of this post-conflict society. Within the drama itself images of birth and the tenuous beginnings for future generations are configured around issues of gender, masculinity and unpredictable reactions to the opening up of Northern Irish society to forces of globalization. The paper reflects on how the series effectively intertwines issues of loss, grieving and fragile recovery in a place still not clear on how to deal with its recent history and the anxieties over the return of violence.

Keywords


The Fall; post-conflict; gender; Belfast; location studies

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TV Shows and Films cited

Bloody Sunday (2002)

The Fall (2013-2016)

Hunger (2008)

I am Belfast (2015)

Resurrection Man (1998)

Sunday (2002)




DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/7145

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