Tag Archives: conflict transformation

Dee Craig installs first cloth murals in Europe

Many will remember the Mellon Creative Residency that brought Northern Ireland mural artist, Dee Craig, to the Tri-Colleges in the fall of 2014. Craig installed a collage in Kohlberg Hall and a large mural on the side of the Science Center, hosted an exhibit on mural arts in McCabe Library and guest lectured in classes across the Tri-Colleges.

Craig partnered with Paul Downie of the Community Arts Center and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to learn about the “parachute cloth” technique that is often used in Philadelphia’s mural scene.

Since he returned to Belfast, Dee has installed four murals using the parachute cloth technique, the first of their kind in Europe. Funding from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland made the projects possible, and three of the new murals focus on education.

Prof. Lee Smithey had the opportunity to catch up with Dee Craig this summer in Belfast and visited each of the new murals.

Youth from nearby Ballymac Friendship Centre designed the first at the bottom of the Newtownards Road in East Belfast. Girls feature prominently along with themes of racial and ethnic diversity, education, and dance. Robyn Buseman and Willis “Nomo” Humphrey from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Project flew to Northern Ireland to assist in the installation.

Dee Craig Dreams Mural Belfast 2016

A new mural in the Donegal Pass area of South Belfast encourages reading and the emphasizes the importance of education for local youth.

Dee Craig Education Mural, Belfast 2016

Another mural celebrating education adorns a wall of the newly renovated Ballymac Friendship Centre.

Dee Craig Ballymac mural Belfast 2016

Northern Irish and Polish youth cooperated to create a mural in Foxglove Street in East Belfast. Major-General Stanislaw F. Sosabowski led Polish Airborne Forces, who fought at the Battle of Arnhem in WWII. Sosabowski and his forces came to the rescue of the British 1st Airborne Division that had become surrounded by German troops.

Dee Craig Sosabowski mural, Belfast 2016

Congratulations to Dee and all of his partners as they build on the Tri-Colleges Creative Residency.

Northern Ireland Mural Artist begins Creative Residency at the Tri-Colleges

As students, faculty, and staff return from Fall Break, they will be joined by a visiting mural artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. David ‘Dee’ Craig will take up a Mellon Creative Residency for one month during the fall semester 2013.

David Dee Craig Exhibit

Mr. Craig’s visit follows a visit to Swarthmore College by the Bogside Artists in 2008 and will feature a photo exhibit in McCabe library, public talks, a range of class visits, an indoor installation, a large outdoor mural installation, and a partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Download a flyer or postcard (front) (back)

INDOOR COLLAGE INSTALLATION

Wednesday, October 23

Swarthmore College

The first event of the residency will involve Mr. Craig working with Paul Downie, local mural artist and Director of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. Mr. Craig and Mr. Downie will install a collage mural in the Sociology and Anthropology wing of the second floor of Kohlberg Hall on October 23.

NORTHERN IRELAND MURAL EXHIBIT IN McCABE LIBRARY

Thursday, October 24, 4:15 p.m.

McCabe Library Atrium, Swarthmore College

On Thursday, October 24, we will open a photo exhibit of Mr. Craig’s mural art in Northern Ireland in the atrium of McCabe Library. Visitors will be able to view Mr. Craig’s work in Northern Ireland and learn more about the relationship of mural arts with conflict, memory, identity, and peacebuilding in the region.

Prof. Lee Smithey will conduct a public interview with the artist at 4:15 in the McCabe Library atrium. This event is open to the public, and a reception will follow.

You can also learn more about mural arts in Northern Ireland by visiting http://bit.ly/troubledwalls and listening to a recent radio documentary on the subject from BBC Radio 4.

BBC murals radio

MURAL ON CAMPUS

October 28 – November 7

Swarthmore College

Mr. Craig will paint a large mural on canvases that will be mounted on a prepared surface on the southeast end of the Science Center. The artist will paint in a tent that is being erected near the wall, and in the spirit of public art, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage with him as they pass the tent while he is painting. Several students have applied for spots to work with the artist on the creation of the mural.

Mr. Craig brings his skills and experience to our campus from the oldest continuous mural arts tradition in the world while also exploring the techniques and style of the mural arts scene in Philadelphia. Students, staff, and faculty met on three occasions during the fall semester to offer input into the content of the mural. We appreciate the collaborative process that Mr. Craig has encouraged, we look forward to seeing how he will interpret our community visually, and we hope the residency provides an opportunity for mural making in a new context.

David "Dee" Craig postcard

ANOTHER PUBLIC CONVERSATION WITH THE ARTIST

Monday, November 11, 4:15 p.m.

Carpenter Library, Room B21, Bryn Mawr College

“Murals and conflict transformation: A conversation with artist Dee Craig”

For anyone who missed the opportunity to hear the first public interview with Mr. Craig at Swarthmore, we will have the opportunity of another public conversation with him on Monday, November 11 at 4:15 p.m. in Carpenter Library, Room B21 at Bryn Mawr College.

This event is sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.

See directions to Bryn Mawr College and a campus map.

MURAL LAUNCH

Tuesday, November 12, 12:00 p.m.

Swarthmore College

Please join us at the southeast corner of the Science Center on Tuesday, November 12 at noon for a mid-day “launch” of the  new mural on Swarthmore’s campus.

TRI-COLLEGE CLASS VISITS

Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College

Throughout the month-long residency, Dee Craig will visit with nine classes across the Tri-Colleges.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

dee_craig_smMr. Craig hails from East Belfast, but he has painted murals across Northern Ireland. His work represents the ongoing transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland, which remains significantly divided and continues to struggle with its contentious and often violent past while pursuing a sustainable and peaceful future. Prof. Smithey’s application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during 30 years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”

Mr. Craig represented Northern Ireland at the 41st Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. in 2007, where he painted a 30ft high mural on the National Mall depicting Belfast’s industrial history. His work has been commissioned by the Ulster Museum and numerous community organizations across Northern Ireland. In 2008, he was named among the ‘Top 40 under 40’ by the Belfast Media Group as one of “The next wave of Northern Ireland’s leaders…the post ceasefire generation, which, having inherited the peace process, now want to forge a prosperity process.”

ABOUT THE RESIDENCY

The residency is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Tri-College Creative Residencies Program encourages Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore faculty from across the three divisions-natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities-to design and implement arts residencies in conjunction with their curricular and scholarly agendas. The program takes as its primary goal the broad integration of the arts through small liberal arts college curricula, seeking particularly to stimulate the creation and enhancement of courses and broader curricular missions by supporting extended, multi-dimensional arts residencies that combine pedagogy, public presentation, and informal exchange among artists, faculty, students, the wider campus, and area communities. 

Though Mr. Craig has a burgeoning fine art career, with exhibitions in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and California, Mr. Craig’s residency will focus on his community and mural art and will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to explore the role that public art can play in framing public issues and collective identities, including in conflict situations.

The residency was inspired by a research project based out of Swarthmore College and Hofstra University. Swarthmore Professor Lee Smithey and his colleague, Prof. Gregory Maney (Hofstra University), have been studying the changing mural arts scene in Northern Ireland. The Mural Mapping Project uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology and statistical and qualitative methods of inquiry to analyze murals and other ethnic and political displays in West Belfast and the Greater Shankill Road area, such as memorial gardens, monuments, sculptures, and other forms of public art.

PCS 125 year logo

Walton Paul Vernon logos

Made possible by The Mellon Creative Residencies Program; Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Swarthmore College; Swarthmore College Libraries; The President’s Office, Swarthmore College; The Northern Ireland Semester, Swarthmore College; Sociology and Anthropology Department, Swarthmore College; Community Arts Center; The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; The Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, Bryn Mawr College

Belfast Mural Artist to take up Tri-college Creative Residency in Fall 2013

This past spring, Prof. Lee Smithey successfully applied with a range of partners to bring Belfast-based mural artist, David ‘Dee’ Craig, to the Tri-Colleges for a month-long residency during the fall semester 2013. Mr. Craig’s visit follows a visit by the Bogside Artists in 2008.

dee_craig_smMr. Craig hails from East Belfast, but he has painted murals across Northern Ireland. His work represents the ongoing transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland, which remains significantly divided and continues to struggle with its contentious and often violent past while pursuing a sustainable and peaceful future. Prof. Smithey’s application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during 30 years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”

Mr. Craig represented Northern Ireland at the 41st Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. in 2007, where he painted a 30ft high mural on the National Mall depicting Belfast’s industrial history. His work has been commissioned by the Ulster Museum and numerous community organizations across Northern Ireland. In 2008, he was named among the ‘Top 40 under 40’ by the Belfast Media Group as one of “The next wave of Northern Ireland’s leaders…the post ceasefire generation, which, having inherited the peace process, now want to forge a prosperity process.”

The residency will be funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Tri-College Creative Residencies Program encourages Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore faculty from across the three divisions-natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities-to design and implement arts residencies in conjunction with their curricular and scholarly agendas. The program takes as its primary goal the broad integration of the arts through small liberal arts college curricula, seeking particularly to stimulate the creation and enhancement of courses and broader curricular missions by supporting extended, multi-dimensional arts residencies that combine pedagogy, public presentation, and informal exchange among artists, faculty, students, the wider campus, and area communities. 

dee_craig_artProf. Smithey and his colleague, Prof. Gregory Maney (Hofstra University), have been studying the changing mural arts scene in Northern Ireland. The Mural Mapping Project uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology and statistical and qualitative methods of inquiry to analyze murals and other ethnic and political displays in West Belfast and the Greater Shankill Road area, such as memorial gardens, monuments, sculptures, and other forms of public art.

Though Mr. Craig has a burgeoning fine art career, with exhibitions in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and California, Mr. Craig’s residency will focus on his community and mural art and will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to explore the role that public art can play in framing public issues and collective identities. An exhibit of Mr. Craig’s mural art will appear in McCabe Library. He will offer public talks, paint a mural on Swarthmore’s campus, and visit classes at each of the Tri-college campuses.

Students who would like to engage the residency from an academic perspective and for course credit can register for SOCI 025B, “Transforming Intractable Conflict” at Swarthmore.

Stay tuned as more details will be announced in this blog.

Duncan Morrow on 35 Years of Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

Dr. Duncan MorrowLessons for Peacebuilders:

Northern Ireland and 35 Years of Community Relations Work

Dr. Duncan Morrow

The University of Ulster

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Science Center 183

Swarthmore College

(Maps and directions) (Download a flyer)

Dr. Duncan Morrow served for a decade as the Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council and is one of the most knowledgeable people in Northern Ireland when it comes to ethnopolitical conflict, peacebuilding, and community relations.

Northern Ireland is in a state of transition; large-scale organized political violence has all but ended, yet it remains a deeply divided society that, by many measures, is becoming increasingly segregated. On March 20, Dr. Morrow will speak at the college and assess almost 35 years of peacebuilding work during “the Troubles” and since the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998.

Morrow is a co-author of The Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework  that has been highly influential in shaping community relations work in Northern Ireland.

He has recently returned to his post as a Lecturer in the Department of Criminology, Politics, and Social Policy at the University of Ulster, where he also serves as the university’s Director of Community Engagement.

This event is open to the public and is sponsored by the Northern Ireland Semester, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, the Rotary Club of Swarthmore, the Provost’s Office, and Sociology and Anthropology

Duncan Morrow spoke on the subject of creating a shared future at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Observatory project’s Community Convention.

Lee Smithey to speak during Garnet Weekend

Culture and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

Lee SmitheyLee Smithey

Associate professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies Program

Saturday, October 27, 2012

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Science Center 199

As part of Garnet Weekend 2012, Lee Smithey will offer a faculty talk based on his recent book, Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (Oxford 2011)

Many organizations and communities in Northern Ireland have used public ritual and symbols, such as parades, bonfires, murals, and commemorations to build and sustain collective identities during the region’s longstanding conflict. However, Northern Ireland is now in an important phase of conflict transformation. What role, if any, can symbolic rituals play in dealing with the past and improving community relations? Emphasis will be placed on Protestant unionists, and loyalists.

Announcing a new book by Lee Smithey on conflict transformation in Northern Ireland

Unionists Loyalists and Conflict Transformation in Northern IrelandThe Peace and Conflict Studies program announces the release of a new book by Prof. Lee Smithey. Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland is now available from Oxford University Press.

Drawing on almost twenty years of studying and traveling to Northern Ireland, including sustained periods of intensive fieldwork, Smithey focuses on the importance of collective identity change that is central to conflict transformation. He argues that it is important for ethnopolitical division to be addressed from within ideologically committed quarters of divided societies. In this case, he finds that many unionists and loyalists are modifying symbolic and often ritualistic expressions of collective identity that have often been considered divisive, such as parades, bonfires, and murals, and

Lee Smithey

are making them less polarizing. The development and modification of these activities provide opportunities for the incremental reframing of fundamental ethnopolitical ideas and narratives. If you are interested in studying peace processes from grassroots psychocultural angles, this book might appeal to you.

You can read more about the book and order copies at Oxford University Press and Amazon.com (where a Kindle version is available.) A pdf flyer and a mail-in order form are also available.

Here are full links for the U.S., U.K., and Ireland

Find other books by Peace and Conflict Studies faculty at Swarthmore here.