Black Gold and Green (Mobilise the Poets)

05 Dec 22—13 Dec 22
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Black Gold and Green (Mobilise the Poets) by Anne McCloy and Femi Dawkins is the final CCA Digital Residency of 2022. The residency is in collaboration with the Black Gold Collective, founded at Goldsmiths CCA in 2019.

Black Gold and Green (Mobilise the Poets) is an exploration and response to historical, archival and autobiographical aspects of the civil rights movement in Ireland and the USA using as a starting point Brian Dooley’s book Black and Green, The Fight for Civil Rights in Northern Ireland and Black America (1998). The residency considers art and the artist's role and the use of language in the context of political protest.

The residency runs from Monday 5 December to Tuesday 13 December 2022. You can find each entry, uploaded every working day, below.

'We identify very closely in our struggle for equality and our struggle against oppression. In fact the whole inspiration of our civil rights movement ten years ago came from the black movement of America.'

In the film below Bernadette Devlin holds a press conference in Boston as part of a 13-city tour of the United States in 1979. She equates the oppression in Northern Ireland to the inequalities that exist in the United States and notes that Irish Americans engage in oppression of African Americans in Boston. Bernadette Devlin was a psychology student at Queen's University when she joined her first Civil Rights March on 24th August 1968 in Coalisland, County Tyrone. In 1969 she became the youngest woman MP in Westminster when she was elected aged 21 to represent Mid Ulster.

The early 60’s saw an increase in television sets and broadcast news media in Northern Ireland.

'If you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house. they will live like Protestants because they will see neighbours with cars and television sets; they will refuse to have eighteen children.'

Captain Terence O’Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, 1969

'All young Catholics .. were very influenced by seeing on television the American civil rights movement .. By the beginning of the ‘60s, you were beginning to have the American civil rights struggle on television and .. there was a general identification with it.'

Michael Farrell, People’s Democracy, 1996.

‘They talk about Alabama, why don’t they talk about Dungannon?’

In May 1963 a group of women picketed the council offices in Dungannon, County Tyrone to protest housing discrimination and demand a fairer allocation policy. This was the first anti-discrimination protest of these times. Their placards read 'Racial Discrimination in Alabama Hits Dungannon’. In 1964 students at Queen’s University Belfast set up the Working Committee on Civil Rights in an attempt to collect evidence and quantify discrimination. Derry held its first protest about housing conditions in January 1964, “Derry’s Little Rock calls for fair play’ referring to the Little Rock, Arkansas school integration crisis of 1957.

The Selma to Montgomery marches took place in 1965 to protest the blocking of black Americans right to vote. The protest on 7th March 1965 became known as Bloody Sunday when the people were attacked by Alabama law enforcement and more than 60 injured.

Angela Davis, an academic and leading advocate of civil rights and prison abolition, was named on the FBIs Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list in August 1970. Davis had allegedly supplied guns used in the armed seize of a courthouse where 4 people died. She was jailed for 16 months before being released and acquitted of all charges in 1972. She had close ties with The Black Panther party. The charges against her had garnered public attention and a movement arose to release her.

Bernadette Devlin visited America in 1969 and again in 1971 when she delivered a series of lectures, promoted her book The Price of My Soul, met with members of The Black Panthers and visited Angela Davis in prison. In December 1969 Bernadette had herself been imprisoned for 6 months, convicted of ‘incitement to riot’ in the Battle of the Bogside.

‘I guess I was surprised to hear that she wanted to meet with me and of course extremely pleased that she had decided to visit me in jail even though there was a great deal of resistance in the Irish-American community in the Bay Area. We talked about the similarities of the situations in Northern Ireland and in the US with respect to African American people and people of colour.’

Angela Davis

Bernadette Devlin wears Free Angela Badge in Boston 18 February 1971
Bernadette Devlin wears Free Angela Badge in Boston 18 February 1971

Seamus Heaney, the South Derry poet, taught at University of California, Berkeley from 1970-71. He had attended civil rights marches in Northern Ireland and was now resident in the home of Beat poetry and the Black Panther Party. He compared his viewpoints and experiences in The Light in 1970.

‘Up in Sacramento Ronald Reagan is presumably dreaming of a Right Christmas. And farther east so is James Chichester Clark and Jack Lynch. We read of London’s electricity emergency, the threats of internment in the Republic; the desultory spluttering of the Belfast fuse. We read The Black Panther on New York slumlords: ‘Every door the fascists attempt to kick down will put them deeper into the pit of death. Shoot to kill. All power to the people.’

The rough beast still slouches painfully to Bethlehem but the second coming is hard to expect. The violence of the Panthers’ rhetoric is shocking. ‘Subversive’ isn’t quite the word. It is grotesquely violent, without irony, without concessions of any kind, meant to scare while it indoctrinates. When I think of the IRA’s long-banned paper The United Irishman, and its romantic traditional invocations in the great line of Tone and Emmet and Pearse, even its furious and anti-British propaganda has an old-world restraint about it. When I think of Stormont’s histrionic cries of wolf for as long as I remember, they seem as ridiculous as they are exacerbating. Northern Ireland has long been trapped in a ritualistic language that cannot, it seems , be unlearned. Bernadette Devlin’s tart socialist blast is the first lesson in a new tongue. But even Bernadette hasn’t taken to calling the RUC ‘pigs’ yet, to my knowledge. And her defence of the Bogside was hardly an incursion on the fascist elements in Ulster. In contrast to the revolutionary language of America, the revolutionary voice of Ireland still keeps a civil tongue in its head.

But, hopelessly, Ireland is where the action is. While Berkeley shouts, Belfast burns. Very little property has been destroyed here, even at the height of the campus violence, during the People’s Park episode or the Cambodian aftermath. Nobody, to my knowledge, has lost a home and far fewer lives have been taken in the upheavals. It has been the police versus ‘the people’; establishment versus emergence. But in Belfast the unproductive blood continues to be spilled and the heraldic oppositions hold. Something must give …’

Seamus Heaney, The Light, 31 December 1970

Seamus Heaney, Views, in The Listener
Views by Seamus Heaney in The Listener
Black and Green The Fight For Civil Rights in Northern Ireland & Black America, Brian Dooley, 1998.
Black and Green The Fight For Civil Rights in Northern Ireland & Black America, Brian Dooley, 1998.

A Civil Rights March Will Be Held In Derry on Saturday 5th October commencing at 3.30pm.

The Price Of My Soul

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights March in Derry at 3.30 pm on 5th October 1968, Anne McCloy performs a reading of Bernadette Devlin’s eye witness account of the march, from the book The Price Of My Soul, by Bernadette Devlin, 1969.

The performance takes place in Shoreditch, London at 3.30pm on 5th October 2018 under the giant mural Saoirse68, also by Anne McCloy.

Saoirse is Irish for freedom.

The mural utilises mechanisms and metaphors of the visual language of protest and the democracy of the street. It is in the tradition of the political mural of Northern Ireland. Saoirse68 represents revolution and resurrection, an overcoming, a risen people and speaks to equality and rights, personal sovereignty, dignity and divinity.

Anne McCloy recreates the original Civil Rights posters from 1968 proclaiming the march, and murals from the People’s Gallery by The Bogside Artists as a backdrop to the performance.

She recreates and interprets the look and spirit of Bernadette Devlin. Her voice amplified on a megaphone, her long dark hair hanging loose around her shoulders, dressed in black jacket, jeans and square healed boots.

She plays a recording of ‘We shall Overcome’.

The performance along with the mural seeks to commemorate and acknowledge the significance of the Civil Rights March in Derry in 1968. It is a remembrance of lives lived, and lives lost in the intervening years. It serves to remind us all as a people to not grow complacent and to act in solidarity and community to continue to uphold and protect our rights and our freedoms.

The Price Of My Soul, 2018

Saoirse 68 - A Painting Project, 2018

The Price of My Soul, Bernadette Devlin, 1968

The Price of My Soul, Berndadette Devlin, 1969.

Anne McCloy performs The Price Of My Soul, 2018

Civil Rights Poster, Derry 1968, design by Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh
Civil Rights Poster, Derry 1968, design by Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh

According to Ó Dochartaigh the colours chosen in the poster were deliberate and symbolic.

'Black, symbolic of the on-going struggles against racism in America, South Africa and elsewhere. Red and blue on a white background were incorporated in a bid to widen and deeper what few links that then existed with working-class unionist families, who also suffered poor housing conditions across the city.'

We Shall Overcome

A gospel song which became a protest song of the American civil rights movement that was later adopted and sung by the Irish. The song was recited by Martin Luther King, African American church minister and civil rights leader as part of his final sermon at Memphis on Sunday 31 March 1968.

The world is one great battlefield
With forces all arrayed
If in my heart I do not yield
I'll overcome some day

We shall overcome, we shall overcome
We shall overcome someday
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

We'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand
We'll walk hand in hand someday
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace
We shall live in peace someday
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

We shall brothers be, we shall brothers be
We shall brothers be someday
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

The truth shall make us free, truth shall make us free
The truth shall make us free someday
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

We are not afraid, we are not afraid
We are not afraid today
Oh deep in my heart, I do believe
That we shall overcome someday

Original lyrics I'll Overcome Some Day attributed to Reverend Charles Albert Tindley of Philadelphia first published in 1901

My Dark Rosaleen

Tis you shall have the golden throne,
Tis you shall reign, and reign alone,
My Dark Rosaleen
Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,
Shall give you health, and help, and hope,

My Dark Rosaleen: From a translation by irish poet James Clarence Mangan of the irish poem Róisín Dubh from the late 16th Century reputedly by Red Hugh O’Donnell, Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill, Gaelic lord and earl of Tyrconnell. A metaphor for Ireland.

Snake with Eyes Of Garnet

Last night as I lay dreaming
My way across the sea
James Mangan brought me comfort
With laudanum and poteen

Then he whispered hard into my ear
As he handed me this ring
Take this snake with eyes of garnet
My mother gave to me

This snake cannot be captured
This snake cannot be tied
This snake cannot be tortured
Or hung or crucified
It came down through the ages
It belongs to you and me
So pass it on and pass it on
'Till all mankind is free"

From Snake with Eyes of Garnet, Shane MacGowan, 1994

**CW**Content Warning: References to racism, detailing racist terms and quotes**

I Am

The performance I Am, 2022, bears witness to the concept and notion of humanity as it pertains to the black body. First classified as fauna , capital and labour, dehumanised and brought to bear, to build to civilise, now called human. It is also about incarceration, isolation and a blight on humanity. Racism is that blight.

The performance sits within the installation, The March Of The Wogs, 2022. Metal rods, dirt, bones, knives, feathers , shells, repurposed dolls. A stark nightmare of dolls that have proliferated and held the racist imaginations of white supremacy and power structures. Marching as to war, the dolls rise up and turn on their masters.

“Wog is a racial slur associated with all sorts of hysterical, historical notions of black inferiority. In speaking the title of the work, one is already complicit in an act of racial violence, sort of like saying the N-word in full’.

Femi Dawkins

I am the slave body
I am what it means to be unremarked upon
Quiet as its kept
Reclamation of the past
Giving voice to the silenced and our despair
I am invoking poetry as prayer
Am I not a man
I am a man

Am I Not A Man

‘The large, bold woodcut image of a supplicant male slave in chains appears on the 1837 broadside publication of John Greenleaf Whittier's antislavery poem, "Our Countrymen in Chains." The design was originally adopted as the seal of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery in England in the 1780s, and appeared on several medallions for the society made by Josiah Wedgwood as early as 1787. Here, in addition to Whittier's poem, the appeal to conscience against slavery continues with two further quotes. The first is the scriptural warning, "He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. "Exodus XXI, 16." Next the claim, "England has 800,000 Slaves, and she has made them free. America has 2,250,000! and she holds them fast!!!!”

‘A Wedgwood oval jasperware plaque, the white plaque with the moulded letters 'AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER' with applied black low relief decoration of a supplicant black enslaved man, in the act of praying, his hands clasped together, his arms chained to his legs, his right knee to the ground. In 1788 a consignment of these medallions was sent to Benjamin Franklin in the United States; distributed there among abolitionists and anti-slavery campaigners.’

The “I Am A Man” poster was originally designed for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.
The “I Am A Man” poster was originally designed for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.

After two men were crushed in a garbage truck on 1 February 1968, more than 1,300 Memphis sanitation workers went on strike to protest abysmal wages and working conditions. They won the support of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

“We felt we would have to let the city know that because we were sanitation workers, we were human beings. The signs we were carrying said ‘I Am a Man,’ And we were going to demand to have the same dignity and the same courtesy any other citizen of Memphis has.”

Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis on 4 April 1968.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, lead a March 28, 1968, march on behalf of striking Memphis sanitation workers. Image: Sam Melhorn/The Commercial Appeal/AP
Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, lead a March 28, 1968, march on behalf of striking Memphis sanitation workers. Image: Sam Melhorn/The Commercial Appeal/AP
Striking Memphis sanitation workers march past Tennessee National Guard troops with fixed bayonets during a 20-block march to City Hall on March 29, 1968. Image: Charlie Kelly/AP
Striking Memphis sanitation workers march past Tennessee National Guard troops with fixed bayonets during a 20-block march to City Hall on March 29, 1968. Image: Charlie Kelly/AP

In Ireland

'I addressed .. a large meeting of the common people of Ireland.Never did human faces tell a sadder tale. More than five thousand were assembled .. these people lacked only a black skin and woolly hair, to complete their likeness to the plantation negro .. all reminded me of the plantation, and my own cruelly abused people..'

Frederick Douglass, African American Abolitionist, on visiting Ireland, 1845.

'I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country .. to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black, one would not feel it too much, but their skins, except where tarred by exposure, are as white as ours.’

Charles Kingsley, who was Chaplain to Queen Victoria, Professor at Cambridge University, Tutor to Prince of Wales, on visiting Ireland, 1860.

Forced migration, forced labour

Transport, transplant, mo mheabhair ar Bhéarla (that’s my memory/understanding of English)

Éamonn an Dúna, Poet, 1650.

Oliver Cromwell led the English Parliamentary invasion of Ireland 1649–50 and oversaw the first wave of colonial transportation to the Caribbean. An estimated 50,000 Irish men, women and children were sold into bondage and forced labour between 1652 and 1659.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyans corn
So the young might see the morn
Now a prison ship lays waiting in the bay

From The Fields of Athenry, Pete St John, 1979.

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried
In the rusty iron chains we cried for our wanes
Our good women we left there in sorrow
As the main sails unfurled, our curses we hurled
At the English and the thoughts of tomorrow

Twenty years have gone by and I've ended my bond
My comrades' ghosts walk behind me
A rebel I came and I'm still the same
On a cold winters night you will find me

Oh I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh I wish I was back home in Derry

From Back Home In Derry, Bobby Sands, 1979

**CW**Content Warning: References to violence and imagery that references lynching**

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here’s a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here’s a strange and bitter crop

Strange Fruit, Billie Holliday, 1959

Strange Fruit is a song by American poet Abel Meeropol, under the pseudonym Lewis Allan, first published as a poem Bitter Fruit in 1937. It is a protest against lynching. It was performed, popularised and recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. Lynching characterises execution by vigilante mob violence often conducted with the display of a public spectacle. Usually hanging, it was prevalent in the southern American states into the 20th Century, a tool of terrorism associated with white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan. The murder of 14 year old Emmett Till in Mississippi on 28 August 1955 was a further catalyst for the Civil Rights movement. The Emmet Till Antilynching Act was signed into law on 29 March 2022 by President Joe Biden.

AmeriKKKa, Femi Dawkins, 2022

Who can speak?

Academic Gayarri C. Spivak poses the question, 'Can the subaltern speak?' To which she replies, 'No!' It is impossible for the subaltern to speak or to recover their voice, for even if they tried with all their strength and violence, their voice would still not be listened to or understood by those in power. In this sense, the subaltern cannot really speak; they are always confined to the position of marginality and silence that postcolonialism prescribes.

The tarred and feathered outlaw serves as a metaphor for severe public criticism, torture and humiliation to enforce unofficial justice or revenge. “We reserve that Method for bringing Villains of greater Consequence to a Sense of Guilt and Infamy.” said Joyce, Jun’r, Chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Featherin, in the Boston newspapers of 1774. “Im a Drug Dealing Scumbag’ read the sign around the man’s neck, tied to a lamp post and dealt this punishment in Belfast in 2007.

Portrait of The Artist Exalted, Anne McCloy, 2022

The metaphorical decapitated head of the victim of mob rule is recreated life size as a soft sculpture, its fabric painted shiny black and covered with white feathers. Gold eyelets stare, as the symbolic relic lies discarded in a ritual of personal cleansing, protection and transformation.

By materialising the vengeful act, this work gives the victim agency over the unjust, externalising the abuse, to observe and relinquish, to heal the wounded psyche and renew.


Your tar-black face was beautiful.
My poor scapegoat,

I almost love you
But would have cast, I know,
The stones of silence.

I who would have stood dumb
when your betraying sisters
cauled in tar,
wept by the railings,
who would connive
in civilised outrage
yet understand the exact
and tribal, intimate revenge

From Punishment, Seamus Heaney, 1975

Primal Science, Femi Dawkins 2022

Vibrations For A New People

'The revolutionary wants to change the nature of society in a way to promote a world where the needs and interests of the people are responded to. A revolutionary realises, however, that in order to create a world where human beings can live and love and be healthy and create, you have to completely revolutionise the entire fabric of society, you have to overturn the economic structure where you have a few individuals who are in possession of the vast majority of the wealth in this country that’s been produced by the vast majority of the people and you have to destroy this political apparatus which under the guise of [...] government perpetrates the most incredible misery on the mass of the people.'

‘If you’re going to talk about a revolutionary situation you are going to have to have people who are physically able to wage revolution who are physically able to organise and physically able to do all that is done […] When you talk about a revolution most people think violence without realising that the real content of any kind of revolutionary thrust lies in the principles and the goals that you are striving for, not in the way you reach them. On the other hand because of the way this society is organised, because of the violence that exists on the surface everywhere you have to expect that there are going to be such explosions you have to expect things like that as reactions.’

Angela Davis, 1972

The Irish Tapes **CW Content Warning: References to violence**

From 1971 to 1973, American film makers John Reilly and Stefan Moore shot over one hundred hours of footage in Northern Ireland, profiling one of the most volatile and violent moments in the decades-long conflict from the vantage point of those who lived through and remembered it.

'Several of us at Global Village started to work with the National Association of Irish Freedom; we had no idea that before we were finished we'd travel thousands of miles on a laughable budget, shoot 100 hours of tape with relatively untested equipment, face sniper fire, get ourselves arrested at gun-point, break many of the major rules (and probably all the minor ones) about sensible production methods, and somehow, after nearly a year in the editing room, end up with the first major documentary done on 1/2 inch videotape.'

Reilly and Moore, Filmmakers Newsletter, December, 1975.

Originally shown as a three-channel, twelve-monitor installation and then edited for broadcast television in 1975, The Irish Tapes are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA.

We Shall Overcome Badge
We Shall Overcome Badge

'Art is a powerful tool, a language that can be used to enlighten, inform and guide to action [...] The solidarity came in the artwork—it spoke a language that transcended borders.'

Emory Douglas, The former Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist for the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panthers: All Power to the People. Emory Douglas, 1969
The Black Panthers: All Power to the People. Emory Douglas, 1969

Emery Douglas is a political artist and activist. His bold illustrations helped define the aesthetic of protest by his work with The Black Panther Party. He designed the party weekly newspaper from 1967 until the early 1980s.

The Black Panthers 10 Point Programm
The Black Panthers 10 Point Program

The Ten-Point Program is a set of guidelines developed by the Black Panther Party and states their ideals and ways of operation. It was created in 1966 by party founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. It was released on 5 May 1967 in the weekly newspaper and in all succeeding 537 issues. It comprises 2 sections, ‘What We Want Now!’ and ‘What We Believe.’

What We Want

We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black community.

What We Believe

We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

Xray, Femi Dawkins, 2022

The Black and Green

The Black and the Green chronicles a fact-finding trip to Belfast made by five American civil rights activists, who found that many Catholics in Northern Ireland had been influenced by the civil rights movement in the U.S. Made in 1983 by St. Clair Bourne, a filmmaker from New York. It is rarely seen.

'The New York Times reported on 3 March 1970 that (Eamon) McCann handed over ‘a golden key to the city given by Mayor Lindsay to Bernadette Devlin, the Irish civil rights leader “ as a gesture of solidarity with the black liberation and revolutionary movements in America’ to Black Panther Robert Bay, and quoted a statement sent by Devlin and read at the ceremony declaring “I return what is rightfully theirs (America’s poor ), this symbol of the freedom of New York.’

Black and Green The Fight For Civil Rights in Northern Ireland & Black America, Brian Dooley, 1998. p.66

Eamon McCann

The Revolution Will Be Televised

When the revolution comes some of us will probably catch it on TV
You’ll know its revolution because there won’t be no commercials
When the revolution comes
Guns and Rifles will be taking the place of poems and essays

When the Revolution Comes, The Last Poets, 1970.

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will be no-rerun, brothers
The revolution will be live

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott-Heron, 1970.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron and recorded in 1970, as a response to When The Revolution Comes by The Last Poets. These were African American poets and musicians who arose during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. These spoken word performers and musicians laid the groundwork for hiphop.

'We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal. I have a dream …'

I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963

'You don’t have a revolution where you are begging the system of exploitation to integrate you into it. Revolutions overturn systems. Revolutions destroy systems. A revolution is bloody.'

Malcolm X, Detroit, 12 April 1964


Civil Rights Logo by Sheila McClean, NICRA, 1968
Civil Rights Logo by Sheila McClean, NICRA, 1968

Watch Derry Civil Rights Demonstration: Protest in Full Swing, 5 October 1968 on RTÉ Archives here.

US National Archives: Bloody Sunday, Selma, 7 March 1965

RTÉ Archives: Bloody Sunday, Derry, 30 January 1972. Scenes from Derry the day after thirteen unarmed people died when the British army opened fire on a Civil Rights march. Watch video here.

The Road to Derry, by Seamus Heaney
The Road to Derry by Seamus Heaney in Derry Journal, 15 June 2010

It was a day of cold
Raw silence, wind-blown
surplice and soutane:
Rained-on, flower-laden
Coffin after coffin
Seemed to float from the door
Of the packed cathedral
Like blossoms on slow water.

From Casualty, Seamus Heaney, 1979.

'Dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.'

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970

I am The Risen People

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise I rise

Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, 1978

Maya Angelou is an American poet and civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King and Malcom X.

Mother Ireland

‘The image of very powerful women had disappeared .. Ireland that the poets of the 18th Century represented .. was the allegory of a woman being subdued, her rights taken from her, no face in law, and no richness of apparel .. she was symbolic of surrender and helplessness ..with that gleam of hope that she was waiting to be rescued .. by the prince that would come across the sea to her again .. an image of Ireland that was female that typified her state of abjection either through the penal laws of through her non political status .. it typified the irish man’s persistent image of not just the country but.. the kind of woman he favoured.’

Margaret MacCurtain (Sister Benvenuta) speaking in Mother Ireland, 1988

Film Produced by Derry Film and Video Collective, 1988

‘The best young feminist women today..have come to an awareness of their oppression as women through a growing awareness of all other layers of oppression’

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey

Still from Mother Ireland, 1988
Still from Mother Ireland, 1988

Let us break the bonds of slavery

WE DEMAND freedom and self-determination for ALL women


Free Our Sisters, Free Our Selves

From Mother Ireland, 1988

Women! Free our sisters, N.E. Women's Liberation and Black Panther Party of Connecticut, 1969
Women! Free our sisters, N.E. Women's Liberation and Black Panther Party of Connecticut, 1969


The politics of place refers to the practices in which the images and sense of place is produced and reproduced.

Mobilise The Poets, Anne McCloy, 2022

Original Photo: Bernadette Devlin, Battle of Bogside, Clive Limpkin, 1969.

'The conflict between art and politics…cannot and must not be solved.'

Hannah Arendt

Isabel McCloy née Hurl, Painting Free Derry Corner, 2013.
Isabel McCloy née Hurl, Painting Free Derry Corner, 2013.

Thanks to everyone at CCA and Goldsmiths for the opportunity and assistance in facilitating this residency and exhibition. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

Anne McCloy and Femi Dawkins.

References: Monday 5 December

Black and Green The Fight For Civil Rights in Northern Ireland & Black America, Brian Dooley, 1998.

Video of Bernadette Devlin's Press Conference in Boston. 1979-10-19. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America (Accessed December 5, 2022.)

Captain Terence O'Neill, Unionist Party, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, May 1969. Reported in: Belfast Telegraph, 10 May 1969. Retrieved from Ulster University (Accessed December 5, 2022.)

Albertson, Jeff. Bernadette Devlin McAliskey at the WBCN studios, wearing a 'Free Angela' Davis button. 1971-02-18. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America (Accessed December 5, 2022.)

People in Black History: Angela Davis, The National Archives (Accessed December 5, 2022.)

Seamus Heaney, Views in The Listener, 31 Dec. 1970, p. 903. The Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991, (Accessed December 5, 2022.)

References: Tuesday 6 December

The Price of My Soul, Berndadette Devlin, 1969. (Accessed December 6, 2022.)

We Shall Overcome (Accessed December 6, 2022.) (Accessed December 6, 2022.) (Accessed December 6, 2022.)

Bill Rolston, Academic, Photographs Political Wall Murals

References: Wednesday 7 December

Am I not a man and a brother?, 1787, Royal Collection Trust. (Accessed 7 Dec 2022)

I Am a Man: The ugly Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that led to MLK’s assassination, Washington Post, 2018, (Accessed 7 Dec 2022)

To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, by Sean O’Callaghan, 2013

References: Thursday 8 December

Strange Fruit, Billie Holiday, Cafe Society and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, David Margolik, 2002

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty: Can the Subaltern Speak?. In: Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Eds. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1988: 271-313

Plantation Memories, Episodes of Everyday Racism, Grada Kilomba, 2010 (Accessed 8 Dec 2022)

References: Friday 9 December

Battle Of Bogside, Clive LIimpkin, 1972

Black against Empire, The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party, Bloom, Waldo, 2016

Black Power Mixtape,

References: Monday 12 December

I Have A Dream, 28 August 1968

I Have a Dream speech : Martin Luther King https://kinginstitute.stanford...

Martin Luther King, National Archives, USA

Malcolm X, National Archives, USA

Selma to Montgomery marches, https://kinginstitute.stanford... (Accessed 12 December 2022)

Museum of Free Derry, Bloody Sunday

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, 12 December 2022)

Quotes That Deconstruct State Violence (Accessed 10 Dec 2022)

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Friere, 1970

References: Tuesday 13 December

"Free the New Haven Panthers": The New Haven Nine, Yale, and the May Day 1970 Protests That Brought Them Together on Yale University Library Online Exhibitions, curated by Kathryn Schmechel for the Senior Exhibit Project at Yale University Library, 2021.

Women! Free Our Sisters, Poster by N.E Women's Liberation in V&A and The Black Panther Party Connecticut.

Free Our Sisters, Free Our Selves, Manuscript in Yale University Library. Online.

Kuusisto. Anna-Kaisa 1999. Politics of Place and Resistance: The Case of Northern Ireland. Nordia Geographical Publications NGP Yearbook 1999. vol. 28. no. 2. Online.