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The Fading Politicization of Northern Ireland's Street Art

The Fading Politicization of Northern Ireland's Street Art
Reuters

Once upon a time, most of Northern Ireland's art was political, devoted the the time colloquially known as the Troubles. There were images that promoted either republican or loyalist beliefs. Others glorified groups like the Irish Republican Army or the Ulster Volunteer Force, effectively paramilitary organizations. Still others honored those who had lost their lives in the violence.

Reuters photographer Cathal McNaughton spent the last several months documenting street art across the country, and he's noticed a stark and, perhaps, welcome change. According to Reuters: 

However, since the paramilitary ceasefires some of the paintings have become less sectarian, celebrating sporting successes and cultural achievements.

Below, images of old and new street art:


Pigeons fly past a mural in the Shankill Road area of West Belfast depicting a Gaelic myth about the claiming of Ulster. (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)


A mural in the Bogside area of Derry City depicts a petrol bomber during the Battle of the Bogside which took place in 1969 between residents of the area and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)


A mural shows the apparition of the Virgin Mary to six Catholics in the town of Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast. (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)


Golfer Rory McIlroy is pictured on a wall in the Holylands area of Belfast. (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)

Amanda Erickson is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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