Thursday, December 24, 2009

­The Murals of West Belfast

The O’Donovan Rossa Society invites you to “Culture, Community & Resistance: The Murals of West Belfast,” a free slide and lecture presentation by Belfast muralist Gerard ‘MoChara’ Kelly.

With the outbreak of conflict in Ireland in the late 1960s, Ballymurphy was disproportionately impacted by the violence that followed. Over the next 30 years, more than 150 people were killed and hundreds from the area injured, interned without trial and imprisoned.

In 1971, upon the introduction of internment without trial by the government of the time, 11 members of the community were shot dead by the British army in a single night, one of the worst incidents of the conflict. Against this background of turmoil, MoChara became politically involved. Arrested for a political offence, he served a prison sentence in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

During his time in prison he discovered the importance of revolutionary art. Teaching himself to paint and draw, he realized that art was a means of acknowledging resistance, challenging media censorship and imbuing the oppressed nationalist community with a sense of dignity and pride in their history and culture.

Upon his release from prison he began to paint murals in Ballymurphy covering a wide range of themes, from the prison struggle, to the hunger strikes, elections, the history of Irish Republicanism and Celtic mythology.

The lecture is January 6, 7 p.m. at Rocky Sullivan’s Pub, 34 Van Dyke Street at Dwight Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.For more, call 718-246 8050.


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