Dublin Graffiti – A Story on Brick and Cement

Walking from the apartments to the Academic Centre takes about half an hour. It’s a nice walk past antiques shops and small cafés, government buildings and historic churches. There is also a lot of graffiti.

Caught you red-handed, Grandma.

Now, I’m from a small town in Maine. The most impressive graffiti we have is a rock that gets painted to advertise school plays. So I don’t have huge amounts of experience with graffiti in the States. But Dublin’s graffiti never ceases to fascinate me. That said, I should clarify that neither Champlain College nor myself expresses a position, implied or otherwise, on the following content. It is presented solely for the purpose of education.

As I said, I don’t know much about graffiti back home. But here it ranges from the charmingly absurd:

This is either an artistic political statement on the scourge of capitalism, or someone just really hates Monopoly.

…to the jarringly meaningful:

his one is behind a security gate, and while I’m dedicated to providing you with superior content, getting arrested is not my favorite thing to do. The last word is “me.”

…to the absolutely unambiguous:

hate the International Monetary Fund” while juggling books on economics and wearing a shirt with a big red X over the letters “EU” would be more ambiguous than this.

Some people have taken to posting signs saying, “Irish jobs – Irish need not apply” on telephone poles. Others post “[link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory] Chemtrails [/link]: We are being dusted!” stickers. Either way, the Irish don’t mess around when it comes to letting you know exactly how they feel, or the likelihood of finding them making and distributing tin foil hats. There’s even graffiti about graffiti:

Here are some more. See if you can guess the political and social opinions of the following individuals:

That last one, as you can see, is a stencil. You find this design all over the city in various colors. Here are some slightly less charged pieces:

Both of those are from the same wall, by the way. It’s quite close to the apartments, and has a lot of fascinating images.

These graffiti artists really don’t hesitate to tell you exactly how they feel. Of course, Belfast and other areas of Northern Ireland are incredibly famous for their murals, which are often classified as “graffiti.” While the art of the North is incredibly provocative – indeed, much of it is expressly designed to incite strong emotion – Dublin’s graffiti is noteworthy in its own right. And these are just the ones I pass on my way to class.

Before I go, I leave you with these words of wisdom:

No, of course there are no words. The Irish always say it better.  

And stop by Jeremy’s personal travel blog, Pavlov’s Hedgehogs, for much more of the Northern Ireland experience. Rope bridges, seaside villages, sheep, and historical context abound. Also sheep. Other resources: Champlain Abroad Dublin

More Dublin
Irish Culture: Books, Movies, and More!
Getting Through Immigration
Course Highlight: Advanced Art History – Creative Dublin