Not At Home: The Affective Labour of Repealing the 8th Amendment

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This article analyses the durational art campaign, Not At Home, through the lens of affect theory in order to explore how performance moves us: physically and emotionally; individually, but also socially and collectively. First performed in 2017, Not At Home, created by Grace Dyas (THEATREclub) and Emma Fraser (Nine Crows) focuses on the journey to Britain from Ireland undertaken by abortion-seeking women. Following a referendum in 1992, the right to travel for an abortion was inserted into the Irish Constitution, and thus it became legal for Ireland to export the need for abortion services. Not At Home draws on women’s testimonies of their journeys to communicate the lived reality of the 8th Amendment as told by those who have experienced the consequences. The recreation of the journey through performance is, the article argues, best understood through affect theory. The analysis explores the affective labour undertaken by the audience, to quote Sara Ahmed, of ‘moving and being moved as a form of labour or work, which opens up different kinds of attachments to others, in part through the recognition of this work as work.’ (The Cultural Politics of Emotion).
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalFeminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2022


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