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Concern Is Creating A Digitally Interactive Mural At The Bernard Shaw Pub

By Sarah Finnan

September 17, 2019 at 3:20pm

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If anything, The Bernard Shaw gets people talking. Of late, it’s getting people talking about culture; its importance and place in modern life.

One thing that the beloved pub is known for is the murals that often pop up right beside it. Not ones to shy away from political activism or controversy, previous installations have included murals dedicated to Savita Halappanavar, the Repeal movement and a particularly poignant one entitled ‘Not Asking For It’.

 

 

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It’s fair to say that The Shaw has not only acted as a canvas for some of the best street artists in the country but as an opening for conversations around difficult topics.

Concern Worldwide is the latest big name to add themselves to the mix, revealing that they are collaborating with Irish street artist ESTR and spoken word poet Felispeaks to produce a digitally interactive mural outside the popular Richmond Street haunt.

This comes ahead of International Day of Peace on September 21 2019, a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both with and among all nations and peoples. This year’s theme, ‘Climate Action For Peace’, draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a means to protect and promote peace throughout the world.

The mural is inspired by ‘I Am Humanity’, a poem written by the talented spoken word artist Felispeaks. Felicia Olusanya, the face behind Felispeaks, was born in Nigeria and raised in Longford. Celebrating different influences and art forms, she is a mix of two vastly different cultures and so complements the ethos of peace day perfectly.

 

Getting involved last year after working with Concern Worldwide on their 50th anniversary in Dublin Castle, Felicia was commissioned to write and perform a piece for Concern. ‘I Am Humanity’ is centred around humanity but also the displacement of women in warzone countries…in the artist’s own words it’s “a call to see each other and love one another”. An ode to the work Concern does.

 

 

The mural, which was started at the beginning of this week, will remain for two weeks, only being taken down shortly before The Shaw closes at the end of October. The piece includes an innovative QR code that merges traditional and digital communications seamlessly into one.

 

The public is in for an immersive experience and can watch a ‘making-of the mural’ video as well as listen to ‘I Am Humanity’ in full via their smartphones.

Felicia’s favourite part of the project? Hearing that her poem has inspired the mural in the first place. But the real icing on the cake is knowing that it will be on a Bernard Shaw Wall, a building historically important both to Dublin and Felicia herself. Finding out that it’s closing down soon, makes it all the more bittersweet.

(Header pic: The Bernard Shaw Facebook page)

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