Words in the Warehouse is back!

The Phoenix Has Risen!

This Friday, 4th March — gates open at 7pm.

If you’ve been before, come again!

If you haven’t been before and you like poetry/music/art/performance art/experimental fun weird stuff and craic come along!

Words in the Warehouse

The people who are actually organising Words in the Warehouse are too busy doing that to write something for the website. I think it would be a shame though, especially for people who have never been to Words in the Warehouse before, if there was nothing written about it here. My perspective is that of somebody who’s heavily invested in the ‘squatting’ community in Dublin, but who doesn’t have any natural inclination towards or interest in poetry or spoken word or whatever.

I remember the first Words in the Warehouse back in 2014. It wasn’t too long after the Squatters Convergence. It was in November, under a full moon. I didn’t recognise the significance of it at all at the time. I just kind of thought “I guess it’s cool that all these arty people are doing their arty shit in our warehouse”.

But the thing is, that was only the first one. There was another one, on the winter solstice that year. And then another in February. And then another in April, the ‘last ever’ ;). And each one was bigger than the one that preceded it. While the Squatters Convergence may have had more people overall than the first Words in the Warehouses, those people were all already squatters! Words in the Warehouse set a precedent that we could open up the space to non-squatters, host them at huge events, and get away with it. This wasn’t obvious to us at all before the first Words in the Warehouse.

In a way, Words in the Warehouse became bigger than the space itself. It did more to promote squatting in Dublin than anything the ‘squatters’ had done up to that point. It brought people into contact with squatting who would never otherwise have been introduced to it, and they left with an incredibly positive impression of it. There are complete randomers who don’t really know anything about squatting but who have still somehow heard of Words in the Warehouse.

Even as someone who isn’t particularly into and doesn’t really ‘get’ poetry and spoken word, I’ve always enjoyed Words in the Warehouse nights. The atmosphere is incredible. Just having that many people in a liberated space, especially a space as vast as Squat City, feels really empowering. When we use the space to its full potential like that, it feels like we’re totally ungovernable.

But for people who are into poetry and spoken word, the reason Words in the Warehouse is so great is because it creates a space for voices who don’t normally have one. The literary scene in Ireland is dominated by older males, while Words in the Warehouse is organised by women and the performers are overwhelmingly queer, young and female (compared to the rest of the literary scene). Understanding that makes me feel stupid for thinking Words in the Warehouse was just some arty shite, and not realising how political it was all along!

Anyway, to conclude, I think we’re all really happy that Words in the Warehouse is happening again. To me, it really symbolises and solidifies the idea that ‘we’re back’. Especially as everybody was saying that the one last April would be the ‘last ever’ Words in the Warehouse, it feels so sweet to prove them wrong, even to prove ourselves wrong about that.

Open Day, Saturday 20th February

Hey everyone!

We would like to invite everybody to Squat City on Saturday for our first open day since the reoccupation. Between 1pm and 5pm, everybody is welcome through the side gate on Lower Grangegorman, whether they know us already or not!

We’ll be serving food and showing people around the space and answering any questions they have. We’re also very interested to hear ideas that people have for the space. We hope to soon set up some sort of collective structure that makes it easy for non-squatter non-residents to get involved in the space, as well as reaching out to community and activist groups that could use the space1, but we won’t have this in place for Saturday. The purpose of our open day on Saturday isn’t necessarily to get loads of new people involved in the space (yet), it’s simply to re-introduce ourselves to our neighbours and remind everybody what’s possible.

Reality

In the collective unconscious of our society, the police are the ultimate bastion of reality, the force that ensures that things stay the way they are; taking them on and winning, however temporarily, shows that reality is negotiable.

Seven Myths about the PoliceCrimethInc.

We know that Squat City / Grangegorman was a very special place for a lot of people. Especially after the eviction attempt in March last year, and the previous occupants’ successful resistance to it, it became a symbol for something much bigger than itself. It gave hope to so many people and reminded us that the power of the ruling class and their accomplices, the police, is not absolute after all.

However, in the end, the previous occupants were taken to court, and after fighting the case for months, they ultimately lost2. Morale was low, and tensions high, and any appetite for further resistence that may have been there at one point had been depleted. The moral of the story was clear: “You had your fun, but now justice has prevailed. The rightful owner has their property back, and now it will be sold so it can be developed into something proper. Your squatty bullshit is over. There’s no point trying to fight us because we’ll always win in the end.”

They had it all sewn up. They boarded up all the houses. They razor-wired all the fences. They painted over all the graffiti. They got security to occupy the place 24/7. It was over, it was time to move on. When it was sold in the end, there was no mention of it having ever been the centre of Dublin’s squatting movement, or a symbol of resistance for a whole city. It was like it never happened.

But lest you doubt that it ever happened, come to the open day on Saturday. We want to show you that it is indeed all real. We want to rekindle the flame that was lit last March. We want to introduce ourselves to our neighbours and show them the space that was so dear to them before, that they feared they would never see again. Once again there is a giant gaping hole in the fabric of consensus reality. Squat City lives! …and now it’s reality who has to negotiate with us.

Footnotes

  1. If you are a community or activist group in the area, and you want to use the space for anything, whether it’s a meeting, an event, or to store stuff, or anything, get in touch with us! You can email or send a message to the Resist Grangegorman’s Eviction Facebook page.
  2. This should be no surprise, as the ‘justice’ system is designed to serve the needs of the ruling class.