As my colleages and me visited Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, last week there were many motives that catched my eye. However, there was something that appeared almost at every corner and gave me a strong impression. There were wallpaintings, murals, everywhere, almost at every house and at one side of the “Piece Wall” that divided the city in the period of conflicts. The guide told us that they have had peace since 18 years. But why do they have ports which still are closed every evening at 10pm?
Words at the wall are talking about hope for trust and piece, but many pictures are showing the opposite: aggresjon, mistrust, fight, conflict and rage. To walk in the city of Belfast made me feel thoughtful and a kind of anxious. Is there still a big potential for violence? I am not sure.
The people of Belfast we met were really friendly and warm and gave me a different impression than many of the murals. I can recommend all to travel to Belfast to meet the people and have a look at all the fascinating wall paintings that tells a story with many different feelings, a story of the irish history and political struggle and a story of hope for a better future.