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Bordering in Belfast: Peace Lines and Wall Murals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Boundaries not only mark out formal borders between state and territories, but also informal borders within and across formal borders. The Troubles, an ethno-political conflict that ravishedNorthern Irelandfor nearly 30 years, saw the country be carved up by informal borders.  This paper examines how murals and separation barriers create informal borders in the capital ofBelfast, to what extent the murals and barriers have changed in meaning and usage in post-conflict society, and to what degree mural themes have transformed since the mid-1990s ceasefires. The study was conducted using Border Theory, the dichotomy of Space and Place, and the idea of “place making.” Empirical research was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews and ethnography while inBelfast. Additional material came from academic journals. The paper argues that wall murals and peace lines create informal borders within the city, though boundaries of territory are usually not expressly marked. Though they are not marketed as an attraction, the murals and walls are now being reused as tourist attractions in post-conflictBelfast. Murals themes have changed significantly since the mid-1990s, though Catholic/Nationalist/Republican murals have seen more of a positive change away from violent and sectarian murals, while Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist murals are sometimes still aggressive and militaristic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 63 p.
Keyword [en]
Northern Ireland, The Troubles, wall murals, borders, bordering, Border Theory, place making, informal borders
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78337OAI: diva2:537449
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-27 Created: 2012-06-26 Last updated: 2012-06-27Bibliographically approved

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