The visual communication of Brexit in Northern Ireland: decoding public imagery on identity, politics and Europe

Megan A Armstrong, Clare A.G. Rice*, Ben TC Warwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The specific historical and political context of Northern Ireland has contributed to the development of an expansive visual landscape conveying symbolic meanings and messaging through words, pictures and colours. Murals, posters and graffiti are common ways in which this is seen, drawing a link between the past and the present, with real-time political developments not only inspiring new additions to this landscape but also shaping how existing images are understood in a contemporary context. Brexit, in interacting so intimately with matters of identity, economics, politics and the ‘constitutional question’ in Northern Ireland, has been one such development. This paper presents key findings from a study in which Brexit’s impact on the visual landscape in Northern Ireland was traced between March 2019 and June 2020. Through close analysis of images gathered from across Northern Ireland, alongside consideration of political developments during this time and desk-based research, we examine not only the emergence of Brexit in such imagery, but also what this unveils about the interaction between Brexit and localized perspectives on its impact with regard to politics across the spectrum, and across different parts of Northern Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Early online date14 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • European Union
  • Northern Ireland
  • graffiti
  • identity
  • murals

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