Covering Ireland has been fascinating so far. Exploring the many facets of Ireland’s culture continues to impress me. Just when I think I have comprehended as much as I can more information is given to me and I realize the depth of history in Ireland.
Our class was given the opportunity to look at many inspring photographs from Niall Carson. Niall’s pictures were captivating in an emotional way. He tells a story through pictures the way journalists tells stories with words. As we discussed his work and observed photos the city of Belfast became a present theme. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland in addition to being the largest city there.
As Niall explained his photos he gave some history on the culture of Belfast. We learned about the “Troubles” and how it refers to a dangerous conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics which lasted thirty years. Niall explained that the “Troubles” begain the late 1960s when riots broke out in Londonberry and later in Belfast in 1969.
Troops were brought in to establish order but the trouble grew as the Irish Republican Army also known as the IRA and Protestant groups procceded with acts of terrorism. His pictures told a story about Belfast in a way that made me curious to see the city once marred by terrorism and unrest. Niall set the scene perfectly through his photography helping me better understand the city that I would be visiting the next day.
I was fascinated by the walls known as peace walls that were designed to keep the Protestants from the Catholics. The walls indicate a time of violence and fear. As I looked at the walls I couldn’t help but imagine what the times must have been like during that period. I never knew about the history of Belfast prior to this course so the events were intriguing to me.
There was a freedom wall that I found absolutely beautiful with signs of hope and positivity for a city with a violent history. People from all over the world have written well wishes of freedom and peace in Belfast.
The writings on the freedom wall made me think about my final project for this course because of the message of peace. On the freedom wall I saw one message that read “freedom for everybody”. I’m focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture for my final project and freedom for everybody resonated with me because I thought about freedom for same sex coulpes and LGBTQ individuals who want acceptance and fair rights in this society. The trip to Belfast was inspring, nostalgic, and enlightening.