Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants Reach Historic Deal: Today's Cartoon

While it is certainly great news to have Northern Ireland's main political/religious rivals set aside years of hostilities to form a unity government; as an appreciator of "artistic expression", these good intentions kind of make me wonder what will eventually become of all the painted political murals, if and when there is a lasting peace between Catholics and Protestants.

So much of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" have been chronicled through these works that they themselves have since become landmarks and symbols of the entire region. Yet, their passionately pointed political views serve as a constant reminder of the deeply-rooted distrust each side has for the other and as a confirmation of the anger that went into these paintings, when they were first made.

The way I see it, the real "symbolic breakthrough" in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics will not be in the Stormont Parliament Building, but rather on the streets of Belfast; when the public finally begins to decide just how much of the past it's willing to let go, in order to embrace the future. The problem is that the quality of the work that the artists put into these murals not only makes them hard to remove from an "artistic" standpoint, but nearly impossible to erase from a psychological one, as well.

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Blogger MikeFitz said...

Finally! I thought I'd never see the day.

10:08 a.m.  
Blogger Brian Boru said...

The murals will remain a part of the culture of Belfast & Derry, but one is less likely to see murals of paramilitaries & more likely to see cultural references. Such as celtic murals in Catholic areas & orangeman murals in loyalist areas.
Although there are still a few IRA & UDA displays on the walls of hardline areas,there's still a long way to go before both sides trust each other.

12:12 p.m.  

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