Feed For Thought

The silos of Thompson’s Feed tower over an upside-down siding from Arts For All/John Luke Gallery (web | Fb) on York Road. RAF flags fly from the light-pole.

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The Price Of Art

Rob Hilken’s (web | ig) ‘Spicy Hot Cash’ (next to Verz’s big fishie web | Fb) might have had the imprimatur of Belfast crew TMN when it was painted in May last year for HTN 2019, but ROMPS thinks the money has run out.

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It’s All Bad!!

Maser’s It’s All Good piece on Cupar Way gets the TMN-crew treatment with writing by RASER (with Maser’s fellow Dubliner VOMS on top), NOTA, ANCO, and RECK.

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Token Prod

“Unionist trespassers will be prosecuted by the laws of QUB.” There are more Catholics at Northern Irish universities than Protestants. The main factors seem to be the roughly 60-40 split in the number of 17 and 18 year-olds and the fact that 34% of Protestants going from secondary school to university migrate to Britain, while only 23% of Catholics do so. The DUP said that the main reason for the latter (migration) is that the universities need to do more to attract Protestants instead of being “a home to republicanism”, a characterization the universities reject (2009 BelTel | 2011 BBC | 2016 News Letter).

The resentment persists to the present day, as can been seen from the graffiti written on the panels of the Wall On Wall installation (see Wall On Wall | Confrontier | The Green Line) on the Cupar Way “peace” line, in which the dividing lines around the world are labelled with the universities on one side and the “unionist kids”, “Protestant working class” (for whom migration is less of an option, perhaps), “token Prod”, and “Protestant manual labourers”, on the other. Deirdre Robb of Belfast Exposed expressed disappointment at the graffiti (Irish News).
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Armchair Generals

“UDA Out – ONH”. Óglaigh na hÉireann called a ceasefire in January, 2018 (BBC-NI) and largely disappeared from public consciousness. This recent graffiti, which is perhaps related to drug dealing (BelTel | BLiveBBC-NI | see previously Little Monsters), is at the top of Broadway.

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EU/PIRA

“Dublin hands off Ulster – EU/PIRA” For this Agnes Street muralist, the EU’s refusal to accept a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic make it bedfellows with the IRA.

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Spy Count

“700+ MI5 agents in Ireland.” Lasair Dhearg (twweb) and Red Section (Fb) stencils in Beechmount Avenue protesting the continued presence of British security forces on the island of Ireland. The 700 number comes from reports of additional MI5 agents in the wake of a New IRA car bomb in January (IntelNewsTimes | Irish Central).

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You Are Not Of This World

“This world isn’t worth your soul”. Religious graffiti on Lanark Way, based on Mark 8:36.

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And The Cry Was “Keine Kapitulation”

The third (and surely not the final?) season of the popular UK drama Brexit is keeping people guessing. This week, it looks like Boris might betray the ever-loyal Arlene and agree a Northern Ireland-only backstop with EU before time runs out on October 31st. In Belfast, lower Shankill residents are not amused by this potential turn of events and have invoked the classic “No surrender!” catch-phrase from 1688’s Siege Of Derry, painted on the wall between the security gates dividing Catholic and Protestant west Belfast. (Just kidding, of course; this is serious stuff. But the twists and turns are worthy of a telenovela. As Belfasters have always said, “If you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on.”)

Other recent messages below the Imagine mural: Victory To IsrealYour Wall, Your Border

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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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