The Walls of Shame is an excellent 4-part program, almost as good as the 6 part 'God's Business.' Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Walls Of Shame: Belfast
Walls of Shame: Belfast
It matters little what they are called – whether walls, barriers or fences - the intention is the same: to redefine human relations into 'us' and 'them'. This series is about division, and about the barriers that men erect, in calculation or desperation, to separate themselves from others, or others from them. When diplomacy and conciliation fail, this is the alternative, and not since medieval times have walls been so in demand around the world. Tens of new walls, barriers and fences are currently being built, while old ones are being renovated. And there are many types: barriers between countries, walls around cities and fences that zigzag through neighbourhoods.
This series will look at four examples of new and extended walls around the world. It will examine the lives of those who are living next to them and how their lives are impacted. It will also reveal the intention of the walls' designers and builders, and explore the novel and artistic ways walls are used to chronicle the past and imagine the future.
The Walls of Shame series takes its name from John F. Kennedy's reference to the Berlin Wall in his state of the union address in 1963. It will examine four new walls: The one on the American-Mexican border, the West Bank wall, the Spanish fence around Ceuta, and the walls inside the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Episode Four - Belfast
Physical as well as psychological barriers
separate the two communities
The modern history of Northern Ireland has been dominated by one thing, 'The Troubles' - a violent, bitter conflict, both political and religious, between those claiming to represent the predominantly Catholic nationalists and those claiming to represent the mainly Protestant unionists.
But what Northern Ireland has now is not so much 'peace' as 'an absence of conflict' after the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. Far from disappearing, the walls have grown. Instead of reconciliation, there is partition – an ill-tempered stalemate of separate identities and separated lives.
Broadly speaking, the nationalists – also called 'Republicans' - want Northern Ireland to be unified with the Republic of Ireland while the unionists want it to remain part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales and Scotland.
This episode of the Walls of Shame series looks at life on both sides of the barriers between the warring communities.
Producer: Ahmed M Ibrahim
Watch Part One of Belfast on Youtube
Watch Part Two of Belfast on Youtube
Walls of Shame - Belfast airs from Monday November 26, 2007 at the following times GMT:
Wednesday (0130, 1130)
Thursday (0730, 1930)
Sunday (0300, 2030)
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