Two months ago (February 27 – March 1), I went on a weekend trip to
Rolston outlined the political situation, and some of the terms he defined are vital to understanding the political situation in
Most of the murals do not appeal to religion. Both sides demand “freedom”. Unionists appear to have a definition of freedom that necessarily involves being part of the
The political murals are at the same time frightening and fascinating. They are a stark reminder, among many in
Republicans relate a history of oppression into a more global philosophical movement. As such, Republican murals now make statements about causes around the world, linking all those they understand to be oppressed together. Thus, murals might bring up the Basque movement, the plight of Palestinians, U.S.-Cuba relations, the
Unionist murals appear to make a case for the importance of British identity. They are now much more likely than others to feature guns. Other prominent themes are major British victories in
If the peace holds, the lessons will hopefully be able to guide us as we search for an end to conflicts around the world. At the same time, each situation is unique, and we cannot force a template on all problems. While human rights challenges are all different, the human rights we all hold are universal. This is what we must always remember.
All of my pictures of the Belfast murals are available here (N.B. the opinions represented in the pictures do not necessarily reflect my personal opinion nor any endorsement by the center).