Peace Wall Stories
A series of large scale images and interactive videos pasted onto the Peace Wall in west Belfast.
Peace Wall Stories is an interactive exhibition of large-scale halftone photographs printed 2.5 meters high and pasted onto the Cupar Way peace wall in west Belfast. Each image, which consists of over 3000 dots, comes alive with Augmented Reality videos when viewed through a smartphone app. The videos tell the stories of people who lived, worked or grew up near these interfaces. Each person tells their stories about their own experiences and memories based on the streets around these walls that divide their communities.
A survey in 2017 by the Belfast Interface Project identified 116 instances of “Security architecture and the defensive use of space” in Northern Ireland, 97 of which were in Belfast. These spaces or interface barriers are known locally as Peace Walls. They are mostly made of concrete or wire fencing, but may be a gate or road closure barrier or a defensive structure. Over the past 50 years they have become part of everyday life for many people. In March 2021 a group of people who live, work or grew up near the Peace Walls were photographed and videoed telling stories of their experiences. The stories are extremely personal and varied, often even seeming contradictory as are the people’s life experiences and memories of the same streets often at the same time. The faces that make up this wall come to life on your mobile phone as they share their stories through the videos or in the AR app. Every story is personal, every story is different and together the stories make another kind of wall.
Stephen Wilson is a photographer based in Northern Ireland. Over the last 30 years his photographs have been featured in numerous national and international publications. Covering subjects as diverse as conflicts in former Soviet Eastern Europe to famine relief in southern Africa. Then Stephen returned home to work in post conflict Northern Ireland covering stories for a newspapers and press agencies and finally working freelance. Now as well as Lecturing in photography, Stephen continues to work on long form documentary projects about the representation of identity in the landscape and the communities of Ireland as well as running photography workshops in interface areas as a means of communities exploring their identities.
Stephen will lead an artist’s talk about the images on Saturday 26 March at 2.00pm. Meet at the junction of Cupar Way and North Howard Street. Please register below for this event. Places are limited so please register early.
Learn more: stephenwilsonphotography.com