Monthly Archives: March 2017

Contested Identities

Contested Identities

The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants:
edited by Thomas Paul Burgess & Gareth Mulvenna.

The book is prefaced as a response to co-editor Thomas Burgess’s uncomfortable encounter where:

“… a young woman with impeccable Irish Republican credentials spoke up forcefully, and advanced her sure and certain hypothesis that there did not exist – neither could there ever exist – any legitimate or worthwhile expression of a valid or meaningful cultural contribution emerging from the Ulster unionist or loyalist tradition.”

We’ve all been there.

A powerful Hunger

If you go to see prison service brutality and the heroism of Bobby Sands then that is likely what you will see in ‘Hunger’, the film directed by Steve McQueen.

If you go expecting to see Republican propaganda on the big screen, then you’ll see Republican propaganda.

Republicans seemed to welcome the movie as a tribute to the courage of Bobby Sands and Unionists condemned the waste of State money that supported the making of the ‘Republican’ movie in Northern Ireland.

The tackling of a subject matter such as the 1981 Hunger Strike makes the movie ‘controversial’? Thought provoking perhaps, but no movie is controversial simply because of its subject. Is ‘Hunger’ a true portrayal – of course not, it is a movie. Is the treatment of the subject matter ‘fair’ – by whose judgement or against what criteria? Does it make Sands the Hero – Steve McQueen, the director, says ‘take a closer look if that is what you think.