Speaking Through Walls: Political Murals In Northern Ireland

Tony Crowley, Hartley Burr Alexander Chair, Humanities, Scripps College
Thursday, October 26th at 4:15 PM

Join us in this upcoming Claremont Discourse in the Founders Room of the Honnold/Mudd Library:

From the start of The Troubles in 1969 to the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland was the site of a violent conflict fought out between the British State, the Irish Republican Movement, and Loyalist Paramilitary Forces. Essentially a struggle over political and cultural identity and legitimacy, the war left over three thousand dead and tens of thousands injured in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Britain. Tony Crowley, author of Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004 (Oxford, 2005, winner of the ACIS Durkan Prize) will follow the development of an aesthetic aspect of this history, showing how the political murals - which began to appear at the end of the 1970s - became an important means of self-representation, self-reflection, and dialogue for the various warring parties. The presentation will include discussion of digital images of the murals (an incipient project of the Claremont Colleges Digital Library) as a way of exploring how the paintings served not simply to express political viewpoints but to create physical and conceptual spaces.

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