OPUS Project Space presents Within the Pale: Belfast Peace Lines, a photo exhibition by Deborah Meehan March 6 - 29, 2014.
An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 6, 6-8pm at OPUS Project Space.
Open to the Public Fridays & Saturdays 11 am - 6 pm and by appointment.
Q: What does a Peace Line look like?
A: It varies
Within the Pale: Belfast Peace Lines
A place is not only a name; it is a location grounded in history. My work frequently examines this complex sense of place – the human experience that is tied to terrain, whether urban or rural. This project begins with an installation of photos depicting contemporary Belfast, including images of some of the 99 peace lines and defensive architecture that have marked the city since the first wall was constructed in the summer of 1969.
The walls were to be a temporary solution to the violent conflicts that erupted that August, after British Unionist supporters burned to the ground 45 of the 65 houses of Irish Catholics living on Bombay Street in West Belfast. That event (and a few other clashes), sparked what came to be known as the Troubles, and resulted in the British Army constructing that first peace line in order to separate the adjacent Protestant and Catholic communities.
Over 40 years later, and 16 years after the Good Friday Agreement, these peace lines remain. In May 2013 the British government announced plans to take down the walls over the next 10 years.
This project will continue as a film, contemplating the possible future of a Belfast without walls. British Unionist and Irish Republicans do not necessarily welcome the proposed elimination of the walls, and younger generations have no memory of a Belfast without these divisions.
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DEBORAH MEEHAN WITHIN THE PALE
MARCH 6, 2014