Human Life International

HLI (web | tw) works to bring about “An Ireland where God is first”. Its “holy face” campaign asks people to partake in a form of devotion dating back to 1885 that involves reflecting on the face of Jesus in order to affirm the first three commandments (HLI). One of the images used is from the Shroud Of Turin, which radiocarbon dating has dated to the 13th-14th century (which is when it first appeared, in France), hence the graffiti “Get a life, not an afterlife”, “[Seek my face] … find a forgery” (in North Street). On another hoarding, in University Street, “the H_ngm_n” has lost a game of hangman with “Bella”. The final image, with SPUC’s “Repeal Section 9” is also from University Street. For a history of the shroud, see this CNN article.

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As I Roved Out

It’s impossible to travel for any distance in Belfast without using or crossing a street employing as a name “king” or “queen”, “Victoria” or “Albert”, “Cromwell” or “Donegall”, or a host of other colonial lords and ladies. Lasair Dhearg (web | tw) last week undertook a campaign to rename 14 streets and Queen’s University after republican rather than colonial notables. As these images show, the campaign did not meet with the same level of support that has lately seen figures related to slavery removed from public spaces in the US and England. Carlisle Circus was briefly McCracken Circus, Donegall Square North was briefly Kieran Doherty Street, May Street Joe McDonnell Street, and Donegall Square South Bobby Sands Street. (Here is a complete list of street names changed.)

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Navigating The Future

92 events were originally scheduled for the Navigating The Future Festival at the end of March, but the coronavirus intervened and 40 events were held virtually. The hoarding, showing Belfast City Hall under threat from rising seas, is in Clifton Street, Belfast.

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Our Heroes Past And Present

The heroes of the past are the soldiers of WWI and WWII (commemorated by the poppies growing in ACT Initiative‘s Shankill Road Community Garden, above, and in the 75th anniversary VE Day posters in Madrid Street, east Belfast, below); the present-day heroes are the doctors, nurses, and staff of the NHS, symbolised by the rainbow in both images.

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Justice For Ian Ogle

Ian Ogle (“Big O”) was standing at this spot (Cluan Place and Albertbridge Road) on the night of January 27th, 2019, when he was assaulted and stabbed by a gang of men. Three UVF members have been charged with his death though the UVF say the killing was not sanctioned (Sunday Life). The family continue to campaign for a safer east Belfast (BelTel).

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VE Day

May 8th this year (2020) marks the 75th anniversary of victory over the Nazis in Europe, or VE Day. (The war against Japan would not end until August 1945.) Celebrations were muted, however, by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which meant that people dared not congregate in parades or services to mark the occasion. The bunting above is in Sperrin Park in Londonderry’s Caw, which took part in the socially-distanced street party; the window below, which gives dual attention to both VE Day and NHS workers, is in Alexandra Park Avenue in Belfast.

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One Small Step

Atypical is a disabled-led arts organisation and gallery. Leo Boyd (ig) decorated the construction hoarding in front of the offices in Royal Avenue, Belfast (along with another in Bryan Street, Ballymena) (VA News Sheet).

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Community Policing

“The face of community policing?? Not in our name. Reject all forms of British political policing in Ireland.” The 32 County Sovereignty Movement lost its Facebook page this month, but its poster campaign against harassment and imprisonment of members continues.

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Free Kashmir

Kashmir has remained a disputed territory since the partition of India in 1947. It remains under Indian administration, despite different groups rebelling since 1987, some seeking union with Pakistan and others an independent Kashmir. Indian forces have been accused of human rights abuses against Kashmiris. For the mural on the right, see This Is Our Republic.

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Death Dealers

“Say no to death dealers”. Saoradh sticker on Divis Street, west Belfast, against

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