The third survey of the Mural Mapping project is complete! After many days of walking, biking, skateboarding, and driving, I finished the final clean-up phase last night (picking up any pieces that were missed and documenting walls or sites where art no longer exists).
You can review the ground that was covered at the project website at http://muralmap.swarthmore.edu and I am pasting a photo of the master paper map below.
I want to take a moment to thank all the folks in West Belfast and the greater Shankill Road area whom I met along the way, such as the lads in the garden of remembrance in Suffolk, the ladies in the garden in Turf Lodge, Connor in Dunmurry and David in Ballymurphy (to mention a few). Your guidance and welcome were much appreciated.
Special thanks to all those who took the time to speak with us in detail about mural making and public art in Northern Ireland. Your experience is invaluable for understanding the role that community arts play in everyday life, community development, conflict transformation, politics, and community relations.
The support of Swarthmore College, the Institute of Irish Studies at Queens University, and the Irish School of Ecumenics made the professional end of our seven-month stay possible, and for that we are immensely grateful.
As always, my family and I return to the U.S. looking forward to our next trip back to Northern Ireland. For now, with three surveys in the can, I will (with my research partner, Greg Maney) return to the task of building the database and beginning the qualitative, longitudinal, and spatial analysis for which the project was designed.
We look forward to sharing results with many of you in the coming months and years!