PDN Photo of the Day

Murals of Northern Ireland: Conflicting Ideologies

The following was written by photographer Stephen Reel, who is currently based in New York City but was born in Dublin. As a photographer, his passion is documenting civil rights struggles and exploring the human condition. The work in today’s photo gallery was taken between 2000 and 2013, but the photographer has been documenting murals in Northern Ireland for over 20 years.  Follow Reel’s Instagram to see the full series. He has over 100.

“I started to document these murals as a way to preserve them for future generations. During the height of the ‘Troubles’ some of the murals wouldn’t last too long due to opposing opinions and political differences, often being painted over and, in some cases, doused in petrol and set on fire.

Appearing on the facades of private homes and buildings in both Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, these murals represent the local human struggle between conflicting ideologies – that of the Republican Catholic Irish and the Loyalist Protestant citizens of the British Crown. They represent past and present civil rights struggles both in Ireland and abroad as well as the ongoing problems in Northern Ireland.

Photographing and publishing these murals is kind of a silent protest for me, a way to show and bring attention to the problems of Northern Ireland.”


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