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‘Mine are the Dead Spaces': A Discussion of Bunker Work’s Atmospheres, Limits and Routines

Alexis-Martin, Becky, Sandys, Katherine and Mulvihill, Michael (2019) ‘Mine are the Dead Spaces': A Discussion of Bunker Work’s Atmospheres, Limits and Routines. Journal of War & Culture Studies. pp. 1-21. ISSN 1752-6272

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The abandoned bunker is burdened with dereliction, haunted by catastrophe averted. Yet a repurposed former place-for-war can facilitate a peaceful working afterlife. Here, the nature of this afterlife is considered through curated discussion between those who have worked within and/or who have created across repurposed bunker spaces: Becky Alexis-Martin (an emergency planner turned academic), Michael Mulvihill (an artist), and Kathrine Sandys (a theatre practitioner). An exploratory conversation-based approach is undertaken to reflect the labyrinthine nature of bunkers, with twists and turns as discussants strive to create a collective sense of understanding. Examining atmosphere, light and routines in recreating, reinterpreting and reusing former bunkers, the authors problematize any singular view of enduring place-for-war valence for the bunker’s afterlife. Instead, they propose a bunker continuum to reflect quotidian and dramatic entanglements. Any notion of a segmentation is disrupted, as they realize that war and peace are enmeshed and replicated across time.

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