On Walls

If you are me and I am you,
What is this separation between you and me?

[Jalaluddin Rumi, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi: 3020]

‘There is a trauma around walls that is rooted in historical ruptures. While you can take a wall down, the lasting impact of urban fractures is not so easily repaired. Walls have two sides but they can have multiple interpretations…. Walls obscure the other – we can’t see the other through them and it breaks down our understanding. Walls can offer protected spaces and security – such as the Peace lines in Belfast – but they can also homogenise views and beliefs. While walls can be challenged, fear of what is beyond keeps them in place. Faith and belief can often be seen as constructing barriers and walls between communities – but likewise they can defeat and subvert them in an appeal to our common humanity and shared values.

Craig Larkin, collaborator – Kings College, London.