Confrontier

Friday (September 27th) saw the launch of Kai Wiedenhöfer’s ‘Wall On Wall’ exhibition, mounted to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cupar Way “peace” line and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the wall there are 36 images of walls from ten sites across the planet, taken between 1989 and 2018: Baghdad, Korea, Cyprus, USA-Mexico, Spain & Morocco, Israel-Palestine, France-UK, Greece-North Macedonia, Berlin. (His latest book is called Confrontier – the web site includes 53 images.)

See previously, the trial run image of Al Bayya in Baghdad in Wall On Wall.

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X06826 [X06823] [X06824] X06825 X06830 [X06829] X06828 X06827 churchill first we shape our buildings and then the buildings start to shape us walls have made a big renaissance a barrier is the proof of human weakness and errors the inability of human beings to communicate with each other the trappings of globalization are deceptive the gap between rich and poor is deepening Irish News

The Shadow Of A Gunman

Lyra McKee was killed observing a riot in Creggan, Derry, in April. The (New) IRA apologised for the consequences of the gun attack on police but did not suggest an end to violence (Guardian). The (presumably unfinished) stencil to McKee’s memory on Ardoyne Avenue (below) is now in the shadow of the “IRA” and assault rifle cut-outs (shown above) on the lamp-pole opposite.

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Robbed Of His Life’s Blood

Garlands of flowers rest at the base of the (upper) mural to UVF volunteer Brian Robinson on the thirtieth anniversary of his death, on September 2nd, 1989, by a British Army undercover unit, moments after he had shot and killed a Catholic civilian named Patrick McKenna on the Crumlin Road (WP).

The other (lower) mural to Robinson in Disraeli Street is shown in the image below (and previously in Shankill Star). “1st batt, B coy, Vol Brian Robinson killed in action 2nd Sept 1989. For his country and people he took up the gun, a volunteer to the end, and a true Ulster son. Robbed of his life’s blood in Sept. 89, but the name Brian Robinson will live for all time.”

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The First Outbreak Of The Troubles

 

The plaque shown above sits in a memorial garden at the blind end of Disraeli Street, which in 1969 ran out onto the Crumlin Road between Hooker and Brookfield streets on the nationalist side, which saw intense rioting in August 1969 (see 90 Years Of Resistance; also Can It Change? for the lower Shankill). The UVF was founded in 1966 in response to the Civil Rights campaign and an IRA attack on Nelson’s statue in Dublin, and the WDA in June 1970 in response to escalating tensions along the upper Crumlin.

“The officers and volunteers “B” company Ulster Volunteer Force and the officers and volunteers “B” company Woodvale Defence Association remember with pride the people of the Woodvale area killed during the conflict. This plaque stands in the area which bore witness to the first outbreak of the troubles and is a symbol of the solidarity shown by the people of this community.

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Ulster And Scotland Did Answer The Call

The Battle Of Assaye (India) took place on September 23rd, 1803, and the 74th regiment of the Royal Highland Fusiliers became known as the Assaye regiment in recognition of their performance (WP). By the time of WWI, the regiment had been merged into the Highland Light Infantry, whose 2nd battalion fought at the Somme in 1916 alongside the 36th (Ulster) Division (WP). The Highlanders’ emblem (which still includes the word “Assaye”) is on the right, the Ulster Volunteers’ on the left. In the apex are the flags of the UVF and YCV (14th battalion Royal Irish Rifles). This new computer-generated mural commemorates the UVF volunteers of both WWI and the Scottish brigade: J. Rankin, Br. Creer, B. Wilson, B. Creer, A. Steele.

“Ulster and Scotland did answer the call/Together in battle they bled and fall/Shoulder to shoulder their lives they did give/It’s to them we give thanks/For the lives that we live.”

“We are the dead. Short days ago/We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow/Loved and were loved/And now we lie/In Flanders Fields.”

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Break Free, Belfast

New street art – artist unknown – at the bottom of loyalist Conway Street, next to the Cupar Way “peace” line.

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Sydenham For Jesus

“This is a neighbourhood watch area”, says the small sign sandwiched between the UVF East Belfast battalion flag and the “Jesus is alive” placard.

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Loyalist Prisoners Of War

This UVF LPOW mural in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, probably dates back to the years after the Agreement, when the release of prisoners from both sides was being implemented between 1998 and 2000. That would make the mural about 20 years old.

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Wall On Wall

The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 but dividing walls all over the world still stand. Kai Wiedenhöfer’s Wall On Wall exhibition comes to Belfast later in the month (the launch is September 27th at 4 pm), placing images of dividing walls on Belfast’s own dividing wall, the Cupar Way “peace” line. Shown above is the image of the wall in Al Bayya (Baiyya) in the Al Rashid district, part of the 700 km of walls in Baghdad, Iraq (Browse Gallery), which was pasted onto the “peace” line as a trial for the forthcoming exhibition. As usual, it has been vandalised by tourists and their patronising slogans (and political statements: “Hong Kong is part of China!”). Wiedenhöfer’s image of the Occupied Territories was on Free Derry Corner in 2013 (Derry Journal) and three images of Belfast were pasted onto the Berlin Wall in 2013 (Irish Times).

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Give Sectarianism The Boot

There have been various ‘give sectarianism the boot’ campaigns over the year. This one is not an appeal to bring players from both sides together using sport but criticism of Belfast City Council’s decision to remove a portacabin from the grounds of East Belfast FC (Fb | tw) due to lack of planning permission, as well as perceived inequality in funding compared to clubs in nationalist communities (Facebook).

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