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The Unfinished Past and The Walls: Forming the Cultural Memory of the Northern Irish Conflict Through Murals.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines how media form the cultural memory of wars. Since the 1980s,research on media and memory has considerably increased but it has mostly focused onnews reports and photographs and on the two World Wars and American-led conflicts, suchas Vietnam and Iraq. Therefore, this study looks at a more alternative medium: thecommunity murals painted during the conflict in Northern Ireland and it takes as a casestudy the murals of the Catholic district of the Bogside, in Derry. It is examined how thesemurals have formed the cultural memory of the Troubles since the beginning of the 1990speace process. It is investigated what discourses of memory have been spun in the murals;who the villains, victims and heroes are; which events are being remembered; and if theypresent a non-partisan view of the conflict. Moreover, it is also uncovered the practises ofdiscourse, that is the producers’ identity and aspirations, their media use and the influenceof the context in the production of memory. To address such questions this study draws ona combination of critical discourse analysis and ethnography to examine the 12 photographsof the murals together with the field observation and the interview carried out with KevinHasson, one of the three Bogside muralists. The findings reveal twelve discourses ofmemory, the influence of the peace process and the audience in all stages of theproduction, the partisan view of the conflict as well as absences such as the role of the IRAand the media. Cultural memory of wars, thus, is highly selective and excluding and it blendswith the producers’ and the audience’s personal memory. The results bring a new casestudy with important insights to the discussions on media and remembrance as well as theyadd a media analysis of the murals for the studies on the Northern Irish conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 112 p.
Keyword [en]
Cultural Memory, Murals, Northern Ireland, Alternative Media, Discourse Analysis, Ethnography
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59315OAI: diva2:426630
2011-06-08, 22:20 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-07-25 Created: 2011-06-23 Last updated: 2011-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Aguiar, Laura
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