Part 1 Archive exhibition

Utopian and dystopian urban visions of Northern Ireland. This archive-based project is a playful, in-depth look at how modernist architecture and urban design was presented in media through the 1950s to the 1980s in Northern Ireland.

For this gallery exhibition we will present archive documentaries and footage that covers 40 years of films that deal with the history and geography of housing, town planning and land use in Northern Ireland. These films touch on many of the issues that faced Northern Ireland through these tumultuous years, including politics, health, war and Sammy Wilson’s evolving mullet. These films have been rarely seen, and in many ways tell the wider story of Northern Ireland through the built environment.

Shifting Ground is a new National Lottery funded programme from the BFI Film Audience Network that supports organisations to explore people’s changing relationship with their environment through archive film. It is dedicated to uncovering the many voices, hidden histories and forgotten stories that make up our collective past. It is a celebration of archive film and its special ability to connect stories of the past with pressing issues of the present.

On Saturday 1st February at the Masonic Lodge on Rosemary Street we will hold screenings and talks which deal with issues and topics relating to the project. We have commissioned local bands Blue Whale and Gross Net to provide live soundtracks to Utopian (High Rise) and Dystopian (Low Rise) archive footage.

Exhibition runs: 2nd December 2019 to 31st January 2020.

11 to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday.

High Rise/Low Rise exhibition at back of Belfast Exposed gallery. Access via main Belfast Exposed Gallery entrance.


Click here for information on all our events within our High Rise Low Rise season.


This project is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Shifting Ground.