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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Punk’s resonance has been felt strongly here. Against the backdrop of the Troubles and the “post-conflict” situation in Northern Ireland, punk has provided an anti-sectarian alternative culture. The overarching conflict of the Troubles left gaps for punk to thrive in, as well as providing the impetus for visions of an “Alternative Ulster,” but the stuttering shift from conflict to post-conflict has changed what oppositional identities and cultures look like. With the advent of “peace” (or a particular version of it at least) in the late 1990s, this space is being squeezed out by “development” agendas while counterculture is co-opted and neutered—and all the while sectarianism is further engrained and perpetuated. This chapter examines punk’s positioning within (and against) the conflict-warped terrain of Belfast, especially highlighting punk’s critical counter-narrative to the sectarian, neoliberal “peace.”

Keywords: punk, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ulster, peace, conflict, the Troubles, sectarianism, counterculture, anarchism

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