Walls That Talk
"If these walls could talk..." is possibly one of the most cliché terms in the English language. Despite how corny it may sound, however, the walls of Belfast truly do tell a story of the conflict and tensions here. Through murals on walls in every corner of the city, community allegiances are displayed, lives lost are commemorated, injustices are articulated, and heroes are championed - sometimes all at once.
Many of these exist at interfaces - the boundaries between neighborhoods of conflicting ideologies; along many of these boundaries there are physical walls further cementing the divide. We've talked a lot about these physical walls, and the mental walls that parallel them, but I'll get to that in another post.
From our moving bus tour of the interface areas yesteday, I unfortunately captured very few pictures - even fewer of which do the artwork any justice. However, this post would be incomplete without any accompanying visuals. Accordingly, I've included pictures from other sources of three murals that have inspired particular discussion or shock within our group (all sourced in the hyperlinks).
Loyalist mural that the group has been talking about for the last 24 hours.
Republican mural in commemoration of MP Bobby Sands, who died in the hunger strike in 1981.
Loyalist mural along Sandy Row, which is known for being one of the staunchest loyalist neighborhoods in the city.