Londonderry graffiti documentary makes Harlem hip hop fest

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A documentary on graffiti art in Londonderry is to be shown at a major film festival showcasing Hip Hop culture in New York.

‘Together in Pieces’ will be screened at the inaugural Hip Hop Film Festival which takes place in Harlem in New York in August.

It will be the second appearance with the documentary at a film festival across the Atlantic for local documentary makers Eileen Walsh and David Dryden, who brought the 25-minute documentary to the Capital Irish Film Festival in Washington DC in March.

‘Together in Pieces’ is a look at Northern Ireland’s changing political landscape through graffiti, slogans and murals.

The film is the first documentary by Walsh and Dryden, who work as Foxwall Films.

It was filmed in Londonderry with funding from the Community Relations Council.

It examines how political murals and slogans are prolonging the healing process in Northern Ireland and how they sit cheek by jowl with a new wave of street art and graffiti.

The filmmakers are travelling to New York to present the film.

Walsh, who produced the film, said that while it tackles issues about the conflict here, they wanted to take a fresh approach both in content and style.

“The way we have dealt with the whole idea of sectarianism - we have used graffiti and Hip Hop, which go together,” she said.

“That makes it very appealing to a youth audience.

“The kind of film we wanted to make was a modern film that would appeal to young people, not one that uses archive material from the Troubles.

“It’s all new footage and we were trying to do it in a different way from the kind of stuff we have been used to seeing about Northern Ireland,” stated Ms Walsh.

‘Together in Pieces’ is an effort to reflect the changes that have happened and are happening in Northern Ireland in recent years.

“Derry has come from being the birthplace of the Troubles, and now internationally Derry is seen almost as a world centre of peace and reconciliation,” Walsh said.

“People are looking at us and what we are doing, but we still have a way to go.”

The documentary is being screened in a prime time slot at the festival, and Walsh said it is a real coup for the film to reach such an audience.

“It has been really well received overseas, even though we made for a Northern Ireland audience.

“We are really excited about screening the film at this festival, and we are honoured as white people from Northern Ireland to have the film at a festival for Black film and music, especially in light of the political situation in the US at the moment,” concluded