WHAT THE MURALS MEAN
The following letter is from an American lady who visited with us. It gives you an idea of what the murals can mean to those visitors who have been allowed to see them. Many indeed are prevented from seeing them; a great many more from taking them seriously. We watch thousands of tourists every year being marched past them by their ‘guides’ as if they were not there. We hope you were not one of them.
‘Hello Bogside artists,
In the summer of 2010 after I finished graduate school, I had the pleasure of visiting relatives in Derry for the first time. Having travelled around Ireland, Derry became my favorite spot because of the incredible murals and the feeling of living history and peace-building that permeated the area. My cousins told me of their own experiences during the Troubles, which added further personal meaning to the murals for me. Having visited the murals, I purchased two posters for my future classroom, as well as the paperback book that I keep at home.
By the fall of 2012, I was teaching a set of motivated and inspiring students at a high-poverty middle school here in Seattle. I kept up the Gallery poster that showed all the murals, for general inspiration and particularly for my history students who were learning about civil rights and civil disobedience.
Sadly, in November of the following year my classroom was robbed of all its computers and set fire to by an arsonist. Everything, including that poster, was either destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
This fall I will be moving into a new-to-me classroom to teach 7th and 8th graders a brand-new global issues course that will expose them to environmental, cultural, and political topics around the world. I would love to have that poster grace our walls again…
I would so appreciate if my students, whose families come from all around the world, could see every day an expression of the inspiring story of Irish and global conflict, protest, free expression, and reconciliation.
Very best wishes,
We thank Kathy for allowing us to publish her letter.
Needless to say, we will be sending her some posters for her new classroom.
Please visit our website: www.bogsideartists.com