World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Vacuum newspaper

Article Id: WHEBN0023081271
Reproduction Date:

Title: Vacuum newspaper  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Belfast, List of Northern Ireland-related topics
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Vacuum newspaper


The Vacuum was a free bi-monthly newspaper published in Belfast, Northern Ireland by the arts organisation Factotum.

Each issue is themed and contains critical commentary about the city and broader cultural issues. 15,000 copies of the paper are produced and distributed in bar, cafes and other public spaces. The paper was first published in January 2003.

A Topical Newspaper

Each issue of The Vacuum is centred on a topical theme, around which writers and artists are commissioned to produce articles and illustrations. These themes can be open-ended – such as in the 'Fantasy' issue when contributors were simply asked to describe one of their fantasies – or more specific such as the 'Nostalgia' issue which contained articles on 'Troubles Nostalgia' and 'Marketing Nostalgia'. Most issues contain a range of writing from social commentary, through satire to farce, focused on one area of discussion. Rarely does The Vacuum avoid controversy,[according to whom?] no matter what its chosen issue. Some of the past topics have included:

  • 'Food and Drink'
  • 'Danger'
  • 'Prison'
  • 'Education'
  • 'The End' (in the month it was threatened with closure, see below)
  • 'Waste'
  • 'Security'

Contributors to The Vacuum have included writers such as Glenn Patterson, Colin Graham, Leontia Flynn, Stephen Mullan, Daniel Jewesbury, John Morrow, Richard Kirkland, Newton Emerson, Roy Foster and the artists Duncan Ross and David Haughey.

2004 Controversy

In June 2004 the two issues themed 'God' and 'Satan' were published simultaneously. Based on one complaint from a member of the public, some Belfast City councillors (Belfast City Council funded Factotum) denounced the publication as "filth" that was "encouraging devil worship" [1] at their monthly Council meeting. The Council then withheld an agreed funding allocation of £3,300 until the newspaper apologised to the citizens of Belfast for any offence caused. The Vacuum responded by publishing a special 'Sorry' issue and holding a tongue-in-cheek, city-wide 'Sorry Day' in December 2004.[2]

Following this protest Richard West, one of the paper's editors (along with Stephen Hackett), challenged the Council's demand for an apology in the High Court as a breach of articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In May 2006 the case was lost.[3] The case then went to the Court of Appeal and, as of May 2009, a judgement on this appeal is still awaited.[dated info]

The Vacuum post controversy

The Vacuum has continued to publish but now comes out bimonthly rather than monthly. At least two recent issues (on the 'English' and 'Spin'[4]) have coincided with exhibitions organised by the publishers in the photography gallery Belfast Exposed. Both this gallery and the offices of The Vacuum are in the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast. There is a historical precedent for literary satire in the area; in the 19th Century, the area was home to a "Punch" style satirical magazine, The Northern Whig.

See also

References

External links

  • Vacuum Homepage
  • Sorry Day
  • Index on Censorship
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • National Secular Society
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.