Art of Conflict (2012) Poster

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Valeri Vaughn presents the story of mural art in Ireland.
HollywoodGlee16 November 2013
"The Art of Conflict" was seven years in the making including several visits to the Emerald Isle. Numerous interviews and many hours of footage later a very real piece of art began to emerge as the peace process began showing real aspects of progress evidenced by thematic changes in the mural landscape. Some of the changes were a concerted effort by the two primary opposing groups, the Catholics and the Protestants, as they tried to peacefully co-exist and as they tried to allow the peace process to provide some relief from the tensions of a real war carried out in their respective neighborhoods and business establishments.

It seemed that the Irish Nationalists, predominantly Catholic, wanted peace a bit more. I don't believe the Vaughns' depiction of the conflict was tilted towards either side. A point was made during the Q & A that every effort was made to ensure the piece was as balanced as possible. With the long history of repression, to me it stands to reason, that the Catholic Nationalists would want peace more as they have fought for rights historically back to the Land Use Agreement.

Literally, Vaughn very well could have produced a Burnsian documentary detailing the conflict and its origin. On one hand, it's remarkable she didn't; while on the other hand what she did do is fairly remarkable.

She captured a very unique time in history using wall murals as an impetus for further inquiry. She delves into the major events and characters of the times and bars no holds eschewing historical photographs, archival footage and present day interviews in telling the story of a bloody, soulless conflict pounded home by the murals and their shapelessness and faceless depictions. It appears Ms. Vaughn has embarked on a journey of storytelling here that is just beginning.

Wholeheartedly recommended.
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