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Photographing murals

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London, United...
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Photographing murals

Hi, we are visiting Belfast this weekend and were planning on walking around (during daytime) the Shankill, Sandy Row and Falls areas to look at, and photograph, some of the murals (I am interested in the artistic aspects). We have read a lot of the recommendations here so have a good idea of where to go and we would prefer to walk rather than getting a taxi or a bus tour. However, reading the Lets go guide last night (2007 edition) it says to be careful about taking photos and that the black cab drivers have "agreements with the local community" making it acceptable to take photos if you are with one of them (but not if you are on your own?). It also says to not wander across the peaceline between Falls and Shankill but rather go back to the city center "as the peaceline remains politically charged". I have not come across this type of warnings before,

is this something the local experts here would agree with? Or is this information/warning a bit over the top/outdated?

I will only be carrying a small "snap" camera, nothing bulky, and it will be during the day on Saturday and Sunday.

I would be grateful for an honest opinion from some locals on this. I guess its the old question "are we safe"?

Thanks a lot,

Helena

Belfast, United...
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1. Re: Photographing murals

To be honest i think you will be fine especially during the day their are lots of tourists walking up and down the Shankill and Falls and walking across the peace line should not be a problem.

HTH

Canton of Vaud...
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2. Re: Photographing murals

Hi, like the previous notice I think that you should be fine walking around the areas you mention inb the day time. Generally people on the Shankill and Falls are very welcoming of visitors. As well as the areas that you mentioned you might consider the area around Newtownards Rd and Templemore Ave in east Belfast. There's the large long standing "freedom corner" mural, but also examples of more recent murals taking in historical themes such as the reformation and the building of the titanic.

Phoenix
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3. Re: Photographing murals

Hopefully it's changed a lot since I was there in 2002. I was at the Lower Shankill taking photographs of the murals when I noticed there were a few men watching my actions and on mobiles at the same time. My friend who I was with told me to put the camera down and we left immediately. It wasn't a very warm feeling there then.

South East
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4. Re: Photographing murals

Err 'men on street corners on their mobile phones' ?

But they didn't speak to you OR threaten you in any way?

Isn't that just an every day occurrence in ANY UK city .. are you being a little paranoid ??

IMO its safe but like anywhere just be careful, and best not to discuss politics.

UK
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5. Re: Photographing murals

I visited the Shankill/Falls road plus other areas just a few days ago with my family.

I took the black cab tour and would recommend it as they let you can get out and walk around certain parts to see the murals whilst they wait for you and is ideal really as its a big place.

In short you can still walk around then jump in the cab to go to the next place.

The whole tour took us around two and a quarter hours and worth every penny.

The cab driver even gave us a black marker pen to sign the peace wall and there knowledge of the history is very interesting.

Having been on many tours around Europe, this was by far the most interesting.

Like most places a little respect for the locals and there environment/communities goes a long way.

London, United...
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6. Re: Photographing murals

Thanks for the responses, then we will definitely go for a walk around these areas, just need to use some common sense as usual by the sounds of it.

Looking forward to Belfast!

Thanks a lot!

Helena

Phoenix
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7. Re: Photographing murals

No, I dont believe I was being paranoid. The person with me was from Northern Ireland who I dont believe is paranoid either.

Why is my response political? I was just answering a question which is something I experienced back then. I wasn't talking politics at all.

South East
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8. Re: Photographing murals

I don't think ANYONE said you were talking politics. It was an after statement advising people probably not best to engage in politics with locals whilst on the Falls/Shankill that was all.

So you still don't say if these 'men on mobile phones' engaged you in anyway - just that it was a feeling you had .. fair enough!

Belfast, Northern...
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9. Re: Photographing murals

Things here have changed a lot since 2002. hhelena you will be fine, just keep your wits about you like you would in ANY city.

Have a good time.

Northern Ireland...
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10. Re: Photographing murals

I know this is now an outdated post, but for anyone else wanting to walk around Belfast taking photographs of murals, I would like to offer my two cents.

It varies greatly depending on the area. The Lower Shankill estate is notorious for some of its murals (which will soon be replaced, according to the Belfast Telegraph) and I have been there when locals of that particular area have given people very stern looks indeed for taking photos of the 'memorial' murals.

The Sandy Row mural is a major tourist attraction and is frequently photographed. I walk to work down Sandy Row every weekend and I always see tourists taking pictures of it.

The Falls is in some ways more tourist-orientated than the Shankill and people tend not to bat an eyelid when people take photos of the murals there.

The South Belfast/Donegall Road/Village estates are a little different, not at all touristy and not really areas I'd recommend people wander around without some degree of local knowledge. I'd be careful taking pictures there.