Congress 2022 will be kicking off with a choice of afternoon walking and bus tours on Wednesday 8 June. When all tours have been confirmed, Wednesday attendees will be invited to book their preferred tour. Below is one of the tours that will be on offer, with more to be announced.
This event takes an alternative tour through the city of Belfast. Drawing on recent findings from the Hidden Barriers research programme at Ulster University, the tour visits a range of divisive architectural installations put in place by a confidential government security committee during ‘The Troubles’, the period between 1969 and 1998 when the sectarian conflict in and about Northern Ireland was at its most extreme. Quite distinct from Belfast’s highly visible and widely recognised ‘peace walls’, these hidden barriers are made up of everyday parts of the built environment such as shops, houses, factories, roads, and landscaping. The tour travels to the north, east and west of Belfast to reveal first-hand the ways in which these seemingly benign structures act as hidden peace walls between Catholic and Protestant communities which enforce social and physical division in unseen and problematic ways.
The Hidden Barriers at Ulster University is led by Dr. David Coyles, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Belfast School of Architecture and Built Environment.