The Eile Project; a trans-disciplinary visual art and spatial research project that enacts an
ecosophical spatial art practice to suggest alternative imaginaries and ontologies of the border.
Building on diverse research from art practice (site-specific performance, film, sculpture),
citizen activism, and critical spatial practices, through the project we are experimenting with a
collaborative process, that we name ‘border-fictioning’, as an artistic method that engages human and non-human actors in reclaiming the subjective and embodied realm of the borderlands from the dominant sovereign 'trap' of nation-state defined borders, to enable new co-produced metamorphosed border-becomings. The Eile Project has included a wide range of activities, such as site-specific performances and installations, films, exhibitions, publications, and events.
The Eile Project is situated on the UK’s border with the Irish Republic, and so exists within
a crucial contemporary geo-political dynamic. Bringing a particular ‘situated knowledge’ (Haraway, 1987) to the work, the project has its roots in Paula’s family history. Paula is from Ballyshannon, County Donegal, a small border town in the Irish Republic. Her mother was brought up in an Irish Protestant family and her father as Catholic. Paula was born in 1975 at the height of the so-called ‘Troubles’ and during her childhood lived in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, regularly traversing the border.
We invoke the character Eile (‘other’ in Gaelic) - a creature of the border who has been summoned to interact with buildings, different species, the bogs, rivers, flora and fauna, caves, mountains and so on against the unfolding socio-political drama of this border. A key concept and artistic method for the Eile Project, border-fictioning is posited as a resistant form of fictioning through a spatial art practice that seeks therefore to intervene in both the discourses of urbanism and territory but also in transformative ways in physical, embodied and experiential terms (as Simon O'Sullivan says, fictioning might "impact on the real, change it, in some way").