The Northern Ireland republican movement was visually emphasized by images on the gable ends of houses and walls in Belfast and (London-)Derry. These murals were used by the nationalist working class to get political messages across in order to mobilize people and to generate awareness as well as an iconographic expression of the ongoing social injustice. Soon the free space on the walls was exploited by paramilitary groups and was transformed into a visual medium for their political demands. Therefore, republicans developed different strategies over the years to use the paintings as a communication tool sui generis. In this paper we seek to analyze the political use of visual images on the nationalist movement during the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland. We argue that (1) nationalists took over the use of murals from loyalism to initiate a well-planned mobilization campaign and (2) the IRA used murals to convey a strong ideological message to cement support for the republican movement.
|Title of host publication||Visual Communication|
|Publisher||Walter de Gruyter GmbH|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Mar 2014|