Concordia University

Sadie Gilker



My urban futures

I have been recently admitted to the Individualized Masters Program at Concordia University. My thesis will be concentrated on analyzing public space in Northern Ireland, and how different forms of sectarian, political, and personal violence impact these shared spaces. This project is an examination of contemporary, everyday, and theatrical performances that represent violence in public space. By intertwining Performance Studies, History and Urban Planning this project hopes to contribute to reconciliation talks and aid in renegotiating public spaces where acts of violence have taken place. This has the potential to diminish tensions and further understand “the other,” especially in a territory which is still divided between the Nationalist Irish population and the Unionist British population. Thus, my urban future is one where people from various backgrounds can coexist without tensions and hatred for the other. While my thesis may take place in a small corner of the world, I believe that it has the capacity to be applied in other public spheres that have been scarred by violence. By studying the acts of performed violence in various forms, such as theatre and history, we have the potential to de-escalate places where tensions are high. 

Sadie Gilker is a MA student at Concordia University. During her undergraduate degree she completed a BA in Irish Studies, with a minor in Urban Planning. Her interests were drawn to how public spaces can influence how people behave based on their different lived experience. The immersive field of Theatre and Performance Studies have also consumed a lot of her waking time, leading her to look at how violence impacts public spaces in Northern Ireland, and how violence can live in different forms in different places. 

In her spare time, Sadie works on her comic character Carl the Grim Reaper, a collection of panels about a teenage Grim Reaper named Carl who is terrible at his job. In addition, she helped in curating the Hive Art Gallery in 2016-2017, bringing attention to manifestations of power in the exhibition Resistance as well as highlighting the interconnectivity of urban life and nature in the exhibition Inter/City//Nature. 

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