2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that ended the period of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. By comparing how the visual arts represent different cultural understandings about gender roles and women’s peacebuilding activism from the time of the conflict to today, this project asks: How are the women of Northern Ireland being represented in art related to the Troubles? What do these representations say about evolving gender norms in Northern Ireland? Fieldwork in Belfast in the summer of 2023 demonstrated that while art from the conflict primarily shows women as passive victims of the sectarian violence, art from the contemporary period primarily shows women as essential agents of peacebuilding. These significant changes in the portrayal of women in visual arts from the conflict period to now illustrate evolving cultural narratives about gender.

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