Projects / Sailortown


Emily DeDakis
Sailortown, Belfast

The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark; Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1613; Oil on panel

Emily DeDakis has been in love with Sailortown since one lost, wandering night – in pre-Google Maps days – when a bunch of punks carrying a boombox down Corporation Street showed her the way to the Rotterdam Bar. It was one of her first nights out in Belfast. She’s been roaming the dockside again; enjoying Benny’s breakfasts, peeking in skips, loving the lorries and howling wind, the American Bar, and the Seafarer’s Mission, a hidden gem.

Emily has spent time in Sailortown as Household’s writer-in-residence. Her text contribution, TWO BY TWO, draws from her conversations with Sailortown’s people and her curiosity about the neighbourhood and reflects on globalization, habitats (for people and wildlife), Harriet the Spy, Noah’s Ark, and loneliness.

TWO BY TWO an evocative and imaginative written work can be found at the bottom of this page and will feature in a future Household publication coming 2021. (TWO BY TWO)

Further glimpses of Emily’s encounters in Sailortown, in the form of three short flash fiction texts (EXTINCTION, #47 and VEHICLES) can be found at the bottom of this page and have been posted across our social media platforms over 2020.

You can now listen to newly commissioned ‘Two By Two: A Sailortown Fable’ audio walk using the Echoes app and hear the story come to life when you walk to the locations marked on the interactive map. The link can be found below.

Emily DeDakis is a writer, dramaturg and producer. She’s from the Southeast U.S. and has lived in Belfast since 2005 – now in the north of the city. She currently works with Accidental Theatre, Belfast’s only independent fringe theatre & Book Bar and Fighting Words, a creative writing centre for young people. Emily has taught writing at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and developed new performances in multimedia, immersive, dance and 24-hour theatre. She has written for radio (ORCHESTRAL GROUPIES WITH SHAVED HEADS, Radio 3 2017) and television (LAST NIGHT IN BELFAST, BBC 3’s ‘The Break’ 2019). She is a member of the experimental choir HIVE and as a writer she often collaborates with sound artists, like Úna Monaghan (F R E A K FLOODS, 2016) and Michael McKnight (STOWAWAY CITY, 2019).