Violent images in a fragile place

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


This study explores the relationship between the frequently violent imagery used in Belfast's abundant political murals and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Through personal stories and perspectives of local residents, observation, and a thorough and contemporary literature review, a glimpse is provided into the relevance of the murals to Belfast's communities. Specifically, this study answers the question: How does the imagery in Belfast's political murals relate to the peace process? Murals and attitudes in both Protestant (loyalist or unionist) and Catholic (republican or nationalist) areas of Belfast are examined and compared. By determining people's attitudes towards the murals, and how the imagery has changed since implementation of the historic "Good Friday" Agreement of 1998, this study achieves a deeper understanding of the real state of the peace process in Belfast. This project may benefit peace and conflict transformation initiatives in cross-community settings, or inspire future academic research regarding the role of public political art in divided societies.

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