Invisible Barriers: Moving Images

Fri 9th October - Sun 11th October
1:00 pm - 11:00 pm

This weekend, North Belfast is in for a cinematic treat courtesy of Draw Down the Walls and Belfast Film Festival.   Look north and you might catch sight of flickering lights on the horizon … probably not the Northern Lights but quite possibly the World’s largest LED screen rolling towards Hillview Retail Park as part of Invisible Barriers: Moving Images.

This is a unique opportunity to experience 5 moving image artworks, 5 feature films and 5 short films with a north Belfast focus commissioned specifically for the project.  These special cinema events will take place in unique locations between the City Centre and North Belfast.

Draw Down the Walls has been inviting and provoking discussion about barriers, physical or invisible, for the past 5 years.  This is usually done by combining art and community engagement and tapping into the imaginations of the three partner organisations: North Belfast Interface Network, Lower Shankill Community Association and Golden Thread Gallery.

In April 2015, Draw Down the Walls commissioned artist Zhenia Mahdi-Nau to create 5 short films that responded to the theme of invisible barriers with groups and individuals from north Belfast.  The brief emphasised that these films should reflect their experiences and explore barriers that they identified themselves.

Participating groups are: Marrowbone Youth Club, Lower Shankill Youth Group; Lower Shankill Adults; Golden Thread Gallery Summer School and the Participation and Practice of Right’s Right to Work, Right to Welfare campaign.

The artistic programme provokes and challenges audiences with films from: Francis Alys (Mexico), Jeremy Deller (UK),  Anna Konik (Poland); Jesse Presley Jones (Ireland) and Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Greece).  Five feature films including To Kill A Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, Pride, Trading Places and Dr Strangelove were selected to surprise and entertain whilst maintaining the connection with the invisible barriers theme.

Invisible Barriers: Moving Images is a Creative Belfast project developed by Draw-Down-the-Walls: a partnership between North Belfast Interface Network, Lower Shankill Community Association and Golden Thread Gallery.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “The Creative Belfast Fund projects aim to engage Belfast’s diverse people and communities in inspirational culture, arts and heritage events, providing everyone in the city with an opportunity to get personally involved in something creative and magnificent. Draw Down The Walls, Invisible Barriers: Moving Images, is a great example of an exciting, innovative and unique project bringing people and communities together to engage with the arts.”

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Arder Carson, added:  “Creative Belfast is the first initiative of its kind. It represents the largest amount of project funding ever awarded by Belfast City Council and underlines the Council’s strong, ongoing commitment to the cultural life of this city, and to promoting community engagement and challenging social exclusion by engaging Belfast’s diverse people and communities in culture and arts.  By the end of next summer, we will have seen staging of seven bold and exciting community arts events throughout the city – the world’s first ever ‘Baby Day’, through the spectacular ‘Nine Nights’ outdoor theatre production, a re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, a festival tracing the story of the River Farset, to a specially-commissioned ‘Belfast Opera’.  I have no doubt that Invisible Barriers: Moving Images will be a superb addition to this bold, ambitious and forward-looking programme of events, which is giving thousands of people, right across the city, of all ages and walks of life, the chance to be involved in, and inspired by, these flagship projects.”


Breandán Clarke, North Belfast Interface Network “We developed the Draw Down the Walls project to explore our relationships and thoughts on the physical barriers, the interfaces and segregation walls which scar North Belfast; we wanted to engage with young people and adults who had been left out of the conversations and processes of peace building, hard to reach sections of community. As the project developed, it was clear that the walls were merely a manifestation of the divisions which lurk barely beneath the surface of a city almost two decades into a peace process. Identity, cultural expressions, social exclusion, social mobility, access to education and employment, an inequality of opportunity and ultimately poverty, were the real issues. Invisible Barriers-Moving Images was designed to allow at least a glimpse into these factors to an audience within and beyond North Belfast, to allow a voice from within to speak to the city and beyond, these are not solely our problems, these are the problems we must address across the north if we are to build a safe and equitable and lasting peace beyond segregated living”