Changing Faces

“The Changing Faces artwork is a project that has been undertaken by a group of young people from Impact Training. They looked to their surrounding area where they explored and documented how it appears in 2010. What is the Shankill? What does it look like and what does it mean to youth culture now? Murals have been something that has been prevalent in the community for many years. Times change, opinions soften and people can begin to build a changing face.” On the left is a selection of details from murals with familiar subjects: King Billy, hooded gunmen, the red hand of Ulster, Carson, the Queen Mother; on the right are four panels on the theme of the red hand of Ulster in youth culture (clockwise from left): with wild-style writing from the Cupar Way “peace” line and soccer, with pop music, with It’s All Good by Dublin artist Maser, and with a (two-handed) warrior. “Don’t push away our culture … learn it and embrace it.”

For more on the attempt to put community art on the Cupar Way “peace” line, see Visual History 10.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Peace By Piece

The Re-Imaging Communities programme put three large pieces on the Cupar Way “peace” line in 2009 (On The Shankill | Your Neighbour | Only A Fool Would Fight) and three more in later 2009 and 2010 (The Face | Changing Faces | Hewitt In The Frame), but around the same two time there were two festivals of wild-style writing (18 artists in April (includes images) | 33 artists in Augustimages) that covered the lower/easternmost part of the wall (600 yards) and then this much-photographed 2010 “Peace By Piece” mural (which was painted exactly over the initial pieces from the August festival) that made the wall famous as a site for writing; a struggle between the two types of art has continued since, with street art being aided and abetted by the tours that encourage tourists to leave a (patronising) message on the wall in black marker, thus reducing everything on the wall to disposable and temporary art. For more on the art on Cupar Way, see Visual History 11.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Charge From Thiepval Wood

The mural replaces one to the UVF’s Platoon 5 , A Co., and the memorial stone is dedicated to it (and not to the WWI soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division who died in the charge from Thiepval Wood, July 1st, 1916): “This stone is dedicated to the memory of the fallen volunteers of No. 5 platoon A company 1st Belfast battalion Ulster Volunteer Force. ‘As poppy petals gently fall/Remember us who gave our all/Not in the mud of foreign lands/Nor buried in the desert sands//In Ulster field and farm and town/Fermanagh’s lanes and Drumlin’d Down/We died that violent death should cease/And Ulstermen might live in peace’ Lest we forget.” For the side walls, see Thiepval St.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Nothing About Us Without Us Is For Us

“The title of this artwork reflects a slogan used internationally, where social and political change has been paramount. It is understood that such change emerges only through true and thorough consultation with the community and that is the wish of residents of Lower Shankill – the affect [sic] social change move forward through collaboration with decision makers and government at every level. This digital installation has been created by artist Lesley Cherry who has worked intensively with the Lower Shankill Community Association and members of the community to produce hundreds of positive images which reflect the need for change and consultation within that process, the ensure a better future for all. As part of the Re-Imaging Communities Programme, led by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this artwork replaces previous murals of The Malvern Street Arch, [and before that] The Queen Mother [probably intended is the QEII golden jubilee mural] and [before that] The Scottish Brigade [this mural was three walls to the right; prior to the QEII mural was a UFF mural].” Hopewell Crescent.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Stevie ‘Top Gun’ McKeag

The new mural to UDA assassin Stevie ‘Top Gun’ McKeag is at last completed. It was seen in progress in January (from D collection), July and August of 2010 and it replaces a version that itself might never have been completed, from 2009. The mural has been repainted many times, in quick succession, perhaps an indication of dissatisfaction with it or with the plaster. See also 2008 and 2007.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Only A Fool Would Fight

On May 5th, 1914, Edward Carson declared in a speech that “Only a fool would fight if there is a hope of accommodation” referring to the tensions between Unionists and the British parliament’s Home Rule bill (and not to any of the divided territories mentioned along the top – Israel Palestine, Shankill Falls, Nicosia, Baghdad, Berlin – or the dichotomies along the bottom: Security separation, perception reality, fear trust, belief.

The work is by John Johnston and Dee Craig and is one of the three 2009 pieces added by the Greater Shankill Partnership and Reimaging Communities programme on the Cupar Way “peace” line.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Big Bill Campbell

“A true soldier – Big Bill Campbell”, leader of the UVF’s 1st Scottish battalion. Campbell (and Von, to whom a plaque would later be added below Campbell’s) were imprisoned for bombing Glasgow pubs in 1979 and Campbell is suspected of involvement of the McGurk’s Bar bombing in 1971.

The Campbell plaque was originally on the Northland St mural of the Shankill West Belfast 1st Batt A Coy 5th Plat before it was reimaged as a Thiepval memorial mural. The plaque is added to the ‘People’s Army’ mural on the Shankill at the Rex Bar.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Arising From The Troubles

Tommy Sands records under his own name, as “the Sands Family” (with his siblings | web | Fb) and, as shown here, “with Moya & Fionán” (his children). This Northumberland Street mural was up towards the security gates just below Sean Garland.

See also: Colum Sands Whatever You Say, Say Nothing

Northumberland Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

Oppose Racism

“West Against Racism Network. Oppose racism. ‘Racism is any idea claiming racial or ethnic groups are superior or inferior and that some should dominate others. Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory laws an practices resulting in inequality as well as anti-social beliefs and acts.’ – Adapted from UN Declaration on Race And Racial Prejudice.” “London 1960+ ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Irish’. ‘Belfast 2010 ‘Fáilte roimh gach duine.'”

Divis Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney

The Woman’s Role Is In The Struggle

“Forced to endure years of brutality, humiliation, degradation and torture, the prisoners embarked on hunger-strike.” The 1980 hunger strike involved Brendan Hughes, Raymond McCartney, Tommy McKearney, Tommy McFeely, Leo Green, Sean McKenna, and John Nixon. On December first, three women in Armagh prison also went on strike (newspaper/posters from left to right): Mairéad Farrell on the dirty protest in her cell (for the original image, see Prison Walls), Mairéad Nugent, Mary Doyle.

The Relatives’ Action Committee was a women-led movement founded in 1976 in Turf Lodge (but with local groups in many places) in order to support the prisoners’ campaign for political status and the Five Demands. For background, see the NVTv documentary on Tar Anall | chapter 5 of Shattering Silence | the documents collected at hungerstrikes.org.
See also the previous posts The Conveyor Belt | Do You Care?
If you can identify the three speakers (perhaps Geraldine McKee. Rosemary Lawlor, Mary Ferris?), please comment or send an e-mail.

On the right, Farrell reads An Phoblacht/Republican News reporting on the assassination of politician and hunger-strike activist John Turnley by the UDA (WP). The headline on the cover reads “Don’t let Thatcher fill these [coffins]” and a graffitist has added “because Adams will” – a reference to the allegations of Richard O’Rawe (BelTel | The Blanket).

Initially without the quotation along the top. The mural was launched on the anniversary date: October 27th, 2010.

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Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney