everyday life on the streets of Belfast is so much determinant of how it deals with its current history. it is what confluate a city into itself and bring a society together. or apart. the sectarian murals, or "political" as some call them, are a symbolic proof on an actual vivid past. mostly painted in the times of the troubles (1969-1981) as way to intimidate, they still stand as proof of an underlined ongoing tension.

"i pass them by everyday, but I hardly notice them", said one young worker from the north of Belfast. many government public policies try to whitewash history by hiring artists to repaint the sectarian murals with superficial peace messages or ideological and meritocratic statements. but the fact is that while walking through the streets and having instrumental knowledge on the city history it is impossible not to be shocked by the size and content of these murals.

inserted within everyday life the historical murals tell a present story: the way people deal with past and memory is pretty much underlining how this sort of memory serves for current state of things, hate and intolerance but its hard to see in such subtle form. It sort of points to the future of what type of collective life it is led by and which possibilities could work, since the wouden is still visible.

project featured in Banter Magazine, published may 2015.

︎ back to matguzzo.com
© 2020 Mat Guzzo