|Vol. 93: Strong Messages in a Quiet Town|
Ireland used to have the image of a dangerous country due to the conflict between the IRA and the British, but has become stable after the peace agreement of 1998. The country had suffered a long history of tyranny and exploitation by the British.
The alleged Northern Ireland Conflict started with an incident known as “Bloody Sunday” in the neat and beautiful town of Derry. In 1972, British paratroopers shot at civil rights demonstrators and killed 13 people. In order to remember it forever, various pictures were painted on the outer walls of houses facing the streets where the incident occurred. The picture themes include the incident itself, appeals for non-violence and religious themes.
Those painted houses are located in a quiet residential area where one can hardly imagine such an incident happening but each picture speaks out and criticizes the barbarous act committed by the British. The voices are not loud and speak quietly. The people of this country are quiet and have patience, and at the same time, have hidden passion.
John Ford directed a film entitled “A Quiet Man” depicting the spirit of Ireland, his home country. If I may give a title to these pictures, I would call them “Strong Messages in a Quiet Town.”
(Written by Hiroyuki Ono: Translated by Satoko Matsuoka)