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@SharedFuture

John Hume: Irish peacemaker. Discuss.

John Hume: Irish peacemaker. Discuss.
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
15 December 2015

Sean Farren and Denis Haughey have edited a new book, John Hume: Irish Peacemaker, published by Four Courts Press. As part of this book launch, there is a series of panel discussions, for which this event took place at the Canada Room, Queen’s University Belfast.

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@MrUlster Essays Photography

Book review – Women of Vision (National Geographic)

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Women of Vision accompanies a travelling exhibition of the same title, curated by National Geographic. Both celebrate the work of eleven inspiring female photojournalists, featuring nearly 100 images, ranging from social issues, effects of war, and changes in our natural habitats.

Renowned American news journalist, Ann Curry, begins the foreword with words, “Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered the father of photojournalism…”, explaining how a photographer’s vision is influenced by one’s experiences and emotions. And how these will be different due to gender.

To a degree, that is certainly true. For example, I cannot imagine a male photographer gaining access to record moments such as young girls and their adult husbands (“Too Young to Wed”, Stephanie Sinclair), a woman-owned beauty shop in Zambia with a customer breast-feeding a child (Lynn Johnson), or a girl in diaper and makeup in advance of a beauty pageant (Jodi Cobb).

But none of the photographers fit any female typecast. Some may have had to accept a “girl’s” work assignment from their editors during their career. Indeed, Lynn Johnson stills sees a gender divide: “It’s an issue at every level: with what you decide to shoot and how you’re received. Then you have to decide, are you going to make it an issue?”

But all excel in the outstanding quality of their work on display here.

Indeed, this edited selection reveals the diversity of approaches and subject matter that one would expect in the wider genre. Why wouldn’t it?

For example, as Lynsey Addario explained: “Everyone covers wars for different reasons. Some are in it for the adrenaline rush, some for the exciting lifestyle, and others because they care. For me, it’s about telling the story of human suffering and getting those images to policy makers. I hope to effect change.”

Likewise, Maggie Steber said:  “To me, the story of Rhodesia was not about the front line, where I would have gotten killed. It was about how the society was changing.”

Storytelling is a compelling motivation for several of these photographers.

Describing her project photographing immigrant broccoli pickers in northern Maine, Amy Toensing said that it was the first time she realised that she could tell a story through a sequence of images.

Several others describe their method of familiarising themselves with the subject matter. Erika Larsen, for example, spent three years immersed with the Sami people of the Arctic Circle for that project. 

Meanwhile, I identify with Carolyn Drake’s midpoint approach: “The most interesting time on a project is when you’re on the border between being an outsider and an insider — able to separate from it, but also identify with it.”

Regardless, photography becomes addictive. 

As Lynn Johnson said: “I don’t think you understand; I have to do this.” Or as in Lynsey Addario’s just-published memoir, It’s What I Do.

And now we live in an age when so many more people are creating and consuming images, in which some fear the craft of photography is getting lost.

But Kitra Cahana would counter this, by her embracing of 21st century technology:  “My hope is to wed photography with more voices beyond my photographic voice, to be an all-in-one journalist, to tell stories that are fully rounded,” by meshing it with other mediums.

And as Diane Cook explained: “Taking pictures is not just pushing a button. Like a musician, you have to practice and be tuned and have the instinct to respond in the moment.”

Photography is about learning through experience (Carolyn Drake), and getting what’s inside your heart out onto the photograph (Amy Toensing).

So Henri Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’ lives on. What Women of Vision achieves is a revelation of this process amongst an exemplary group of influential photographers of our day.

See following panel discussion among the photographers, chaired by Ann Curry:

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@MrUlster Essays Photography Private

Book review – British Life Photography Awards

British Life Awards - British Life Photography Awards Portfolio 1

The British Life Photography Awards: Portfolio 1 is a catalogue book of the winners and finalists of an inaugural event “to capture and share” the perspectives of photographers from all walks of life.

The inspiration for the contest comes from the “amazing democratisation” of photography in the 21st century.

Homer Sykes, a self-described documentary photographer of half a century, provides a foreword, in which he describes the journey of discovery, “getting up before dawn, going to bed too late, being out there, experiencing, learning, thinking on your feet and trying to understand how we live, work and play.”

This is complemented by a brief introduction by Caroline Metcalfe, who calls upon photographers in Britain, “Rather than look overseas for potential material, … stay at home and shoot stories that we know are just waiting to be made.”

The judging panel reveals an impressive collection of accomplished photographers, many with work for various travel and lifestyle magazines and newspaper supplements.

And this is the shortcoming of this presented portfolio of work.

The images are all good, but like much of British life itself, it’s an eclectic mix of the editorial and the artistic. Many images would easily grace a Condé Nast publication or a Sunday magazine; I don’t need to buy a book to discover this talent.

What interested me more were the fewer images that demonstrated some individuality of the photographer, one’s own perspective on life in Britain.

Yellow Rain (c) Linda Wisdom @CreativeWisdom_
Yellow Rain; used with permission (c) Linda Wisdom @CreativeWisdom_

Images such as Heather Buckley’s “Tea at Birling Gap”, with a hatted women’s head emerging from a teapot; Linda Wisdom’s “Yellow Rain” (one of the best in the volume, in my opinion); Gerard Collett’s “Orange, White and Blue”, of two identical older women, sitting across from each other, putting on makeup at the same time; and Zoe Barker’s “Lazy Days”, not an Instagram tilt-shift filter, but authentic 120-format film print.

So while I don’t regret acquiring this first edition — I’d like to learn more about the next contest — I can’t recommend it. The pictures may be pleasing, but the selection incoherent (why so many from a single naked bike ride event?). A more critical slimmer volume of images and/or photographers may have brought more inspiration for the rest of us about to go out to shoot more stories of British life.

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@MrUlster Essays Photography

Book review – World Atlas of Street Photography (Jackie Higgins)

20150525 World Atlas

I have not studied photography formally, but take solace that many of the 100 photographers featured in this thorough volume of the urban landscape and its people have learned their craft from the harsh realities of the street.

Nevertheless I may be utterly under-qualified to provide a meaningful critique of this very considered book, The World Atlas of Street Photography, published by Thames & Hudson.

Author Jackie Higgins has done a masterful job. The structure of the book is geographical, by world region. Each photographer gets a page or two, with a pertinent selection of his or her work.

As one would expect, most images feature people. Some are candid; others are posed. And some photographers concentrate more on the physical environment — the human influence without the presence of any inhabitants themselves.

What I like is that there’s no need to read the book from cover-to-cover. You can peruse the pages and stop and inspect more of what captures your eye. (Perhaps not unlike the behaviour of a practiced street photographer.) The biographical entries are well written and easy to digest.

Max Kozloff sets the global scene in his foreword. I particularly like his statement of how “photographers have reacted with a discursive strategy of their own”, including a response to “post-modernist scepticism towards documentary forms”.

Because street photography tells stories, of the photographer and the photographed. Some stories are easier to decipher from the images than others, but story telling is one of man’s longest-running habits. Long live the documentary style, updated for the 21st century.

And that is my only mild criticism — there is no modern signposting of any of the photographers. Perhaps these acclaimed artists are beyond Flickr and Tumblr, but I would have appreciated links to at least portfolio websites. There’s also no bibliography or further reading section.

Yet The World Atlas of Street Photography should be on any self-respecting street photographer’s bookshelf. Jackie Higgins achieves her objective of showcasing illuminating juxtapositions, as she puts it, providing the reader with ample inspiration and insight of a wide variety of techniques and styles.

It is a true atlas of the street genre.

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Essays Photography

Book review – Frank Browne: A Life through the Lens (David and Edwin DAVISON)

God can sanctify photography. With a poem by Pope Leo XIII, Colin Ford explains the basis for how Irish Jesuit Frank Browne acquired a camera from his bishop uncle, at the age of 17, and kept making images throughout his priestly life.

Browne took his camera everywhere. His early trips to Europe were the apparent source of his self-teaching of technique, analysing the works of Masters’ painters in Venice and Florence.

He travelled widely, to the front lines in France and Flanders during World War One (serving as chaplain) and further to Australia (where he went to recuperate after suffering mustard gassing).

Yet I would argue that it is his persistent images of Ireland over the decades, emerging as a new republic, that leaves a significantly valuable legacy. Photos of countryside life are complemented with ones of industrialisation.

20150127 Frank Browne - Titanic Cobh

Browne is known primarily for photos that he took during the maiden voyage of the Titanic. His first class ticket was only for Southampton-Cherbourg-Cobh (his uncle never intended for him to emigrate to America!). With the sinking of the ship, his precious images were in highest demand by newspapers.

Kodak thanked him by offering a lifelong supply of film. Yet Browne was responsible for developing the film and paying for any prints. Consequently, many of his photos remained unpublished, until Father Edward O’Donnell discovered a large trunk, long after Browne’s death.

Father O’Donnell proceeded to publish a series of Frank Browne photo books, including Frank Browne’s Titanic Album. More recently he has written a full biography in The Life and Lens of Father Browne.

20150127 Frank Browne - At Keem Beach

But Frank Browne: A Life through the Lens, by Donald and Edwin Davison and the subject of this review, is a more artistic critique of his best work, copiously illustrated and drawn from his trove of 42,000 images.

In a chapter titled “Father Browne photographer of the twentieth Century”, Donald Davison explains how Father Browne was influenced initially by pictorialism but also with modernism.

Browne was not constrained by any particular photographic style, though reportage-style stands out. Even here, he didn’t always obey the decisive moment – sometimes he would get children and take off their shoes and socks for his more desired, rustic look of the countryside.

One could argue that because Browne did not concentrate on any particular method, he never mastered his craft.

But I don’t believe Father Brown was ever seeking photography perfection; his formal training was spiritual, remember.

Instead, we’ve been blessed with the vision of a man who understood tone and mood, natural and human, who recorded the matter of life wherever he found himself.

I highly recommend Frank Browne: A Life through the Lens, by Donald and Edwin Davison, for its approach to the subject from a photographer’s perspective.

Frank Browne: A Life through the Lens accompanies an exhibition at the Andrews Gallery, Titanic Building, Belfast, 14 January-31 March 2015.

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@MrUlster Private

Book review – Time to Fly (Neil O’BRIEN)

Neil O'BRIEN motivating us at NI Biz Camp http://www.timetofly.ie
Neil O’BRIEN motivating us at NI Biz Camp http://www.timetofly.ie

I had the pleasure of meeting Neil O’Brien at a NI Biz Camp event in Belfast, April 2013. I immediately liked his sense of humour: “Sending me to a relaxation course is stressing me out!”

Yet behind his Irish wit is a concise, distilled lesson plan of proven suggestions to motivate yourself to the next level.

Essentially, each of us has a comfort zone. Tricky thing is, if you decide just to stay in it, it’ll keep getting smaller as the world moves on. Neil has some strategies to help you act outside your comfort zone.

His book, Time to Fly, is an easy-to-read digest filled with methods, exercise plans, summaries and encouragement, all sprinkled with signature humour.

What I particularly liked is that I am able to remember some key points. Reference points, if you will, that’ll keep you closer to 10/10 on the self-worth scale, and away from the 2/10.

Time to Fly really is inspiration in a nutshell (to cite another reviewer). Be good to yourself — get Neil’s book!

20150120 Time to Fly cover

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@MrUlster Private

Book review – Coffee with Jesus (David WILKIE)

WILKIE David - Coffee with Jesus

I came across Coffee with Jesus on a display table at the front of a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Just as well, as I doubt I would have perused the religion section to discover it.

Coffee with Jesus originated online, under the consortium Radio Free Babylon. It is a irreverent perspective of Christ in everyday — American — lives, with our Lord dispensing his eternal wisdom on the flawed mortal characters presented in this graphic novel. There’s Carl, Lisa, Ann, Kevin and Joe, each of which author David Wilkie provides pseudo-biographies.

And of course there’s Satan, who taunts Jesus with nicknames like the Boy King, dogmatic Galilean, the Nazarene.

I enjoyed Coffee with Jesus and its theological humour. (Needs to be more like this.) Certainly there will be some who will take offence in putting words into Jesus’ mouth, but the joke is surely at them?

That is, I’m reminded of a small notice stand at a church coffee shop, which declared, “Christ is okay; it’s Christians I can’t stand.” The Word is the message, however delivered, whether the Sunday sermon or a good piece of levity served with a cup of Java.

20140708 Coffee Jesus - Dead Serious

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@MrUlster Private

Book review – A Week at the Airport (Alain de BOTTON)

20140114 Week at Airport

Perhaps poignantly after just returning from a long and splendid transatlantic Christmastime holiday, and getting back into routine in the return to work, I finished Alain de Botton’s book, A Week at the Airport.

A Week at the Airport is a short and compact book (“Slender enough to pack in your carry-on”, Daily Mail). It can be considered an addendum of sorts of his previous book, The Art of Travel (from which one learns that de Botton is a home bird, really; see my separate review).

I’ve always liked Alain de Botton’s use of illustrations and imagery interspersed with his narratives. In this case, Richard Baker adds wonderful value with his insightful photographs.

A Week at the Airport is just that — the chief executive of BAA granted the author unrestricted access throughout the world’s busiest airport, Heathrow.

“In such lack of constraints, I felt myself to be benefitting from a tradition wherein the wealthy merchant enters into a relationship with an artist fully prepared for him to behave like an outlaw; he does not expect good manners, he knows and is half delighted by the idea that the favoured baboon will smash his crockery.”

Thankfully de Botton does behave himself and doesn’t offend the airport staff, or perhaps more importantly, the security folk at the Border Agency.

The book is divided into four sections, reflecting the main dimensions of our airport experience — Approach, Departures, Airside and Arrivals.

I like de Botton’s philosophical insights into the otherwise mundane, or at least those aspects of daily life that we usually don’t think twice about.

For example, airport hotels. Even with their poetic menus, which de Botton does his best to elevate, an airport hotel is functionary; unlike their countryside siblings, you don’t select an airport hotel for its environmental surroundings.

Though there’s no harm in trying to appeal to aesthetic beauty. Terminal 5 “wanted to have a go” at replicating the experience of arriving at Jerusalem’s elaborate Jaffa Gate, to welcome those who have travelled great distances to the promise and prospect of a new country.

But baggage retrieval and finding your car in the parking lot (or silent taxi transfer) quickly erases such euphoria.

de Botton’s strength is inserting the human condition in every aspect of life. Lest you think he doesn’t really recommend airport travel, de Botton is an unfailing romantic (and thankfully so). When he describes our human encounters — in this case with hotel staff, fellow passengers, border control agents, and those we’re departing and reuniting with — de Botton evokes the universality of our existence. At least those of us who have ever experienced airports.

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#TeamBev

Book review — Touching Distance (James CRACKNELL)

20131001 Touching Distance

Reading this book was always going to have a special meaning to me, as my wife had a stroke about two years ago. Like James and Bev, my wife and I are writing a book together about our experience. We honestly came up with the same chapter layout as them — alternative narrations.

In these types of post-tragedy biographies, there are introductory chapters of the characters’ backgrounds. A get-to-know-you before the injury sequence. This is fine, but in Touching Distance, the full first half of the book is a repetitive account of Cracknell’s numerous athletic achievements. He is a very competitive individual; I get it.

At the moment of his near fatal injury, the engagement with the reader much improves, perhaps because both Bev and James are describing their separate perspectives of the events unfolding before them.

I write as a carer for a stroke survivor, so I have an empathy with Bev’s words. But I can attest that my wife would sympathise with James’s.

Bev describes learning the new vocabulary of brain injury as “taking bullets” that she would have to carry for the rest of her life. This is true.

And this unwelcomed circumstance reflects the wider dimension of changed lives. At times Bev tells James, “You’re not the man I married” and “I still miss James.” James has told the world, “I’m no longer James Cracknell.” His description of how the injury has affected his outlook is very honest and in my opinion, the most compelling part of his story.

Both mention how it’s the invisible dimension of brain injury that is more difficult to deal with. This is true, too.

Case in point was James’s description of neuropsychologist and psychiatrist tests:

“They only knew me as a patient post-accident but not the person I was or what I was capable of before the accident. So how could they impose these ceilings on my recovery based on results from generalised tests?”

We have the same complaint. In fact, neither of us were ever asked about our personalities or habits pre-injury. I still don’t understand scientifically how anyone could make predictions without examining what made a person tick before an injury.

James also recalled a qualified compliment he received after giving television commentary: “That was really good,” he was told, “especially for someone with a brain injury.” Like anyone with a disability, James said that he wants to be judged as a person, not someone with a brain injury.

With me present, a specialist once told my wife that before speaking she could tell strangers that she has had a stroke (to explain why her voice isn’t as clear). I counter-suggested that she should not, to reduce the likelihood of her being patronised. Unlike James, my wife is not famous, so it has been easier for her to present herself as herself, and not someone with a brain injury.

Both James and Bev are told that the majority of marriages fail when one has had a brain injury. It is easy to see why. Bev describes how the dynamics of a marriage of mutuality changes to one of physical and mental dependency. It’s not easy to deal with, I know. And James acknowledges this, in describing his marriage now as more of a business partnership. Both want their relationship to move back towards the centre.

Bev tells of the experience of a new friend whose marriage came undone three years after her husband’s accident. Bev asked what was the final straw? “His lack of confidence. It killed me. I couldn’t live with it.” Bev said that she knew what she meant.

Thankfully, my wife still has confidence: “If we’ve survived this, we can survive anything … it’s the ultimate challenge.”

So although Touching Distance isn’t the best written prose, like dealing with an unwanted challenge, it is worth persisting with to reach a positive conclusion and hope for a better future.

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@MrUlster Private

Film review – Good Vibrations @QFTBelfast

Good Vibrations is a film about Belfast music legend, Terri Hooley, who was responsible for discovering The Undertones and recording Teenage Kicks (which radio DJ Jonathan Peel famously played twice in a row).

UTV film critic Brian Henry Martin described Good Vibrations as “born, bred and buttered” in Belfast. The film is a total local production, from screenplay, casting, directing and production. This always runs the risk of the output being a bit twee, satisfying for the nearby residents but failing universal appeal.

Not so with Good Vibrations. It is an amazing film.

Brilliant in every way. The acting is top quality, by lead actor Richard Dormer and all others. The contextualisation is handled very well — challenging to set the scene during the Troubles without it getting too depressing. The direction is spot on, keeping the story moving along and ensuring a consistency of performance (just one scene where a female pedestrian walking alongside them was a distraction).

And superb editing, which film editor Nick Emerson explained during a post-screening Q&A session,  as part of QFT Film Club:

Nick learned about the Good Vibrations film project while finishing another on the film Cherrybomb, in 2008. A lot of time was spent in raising funds to ensure the film could get made.

He told us editing challenges. Any film has a “long film”, that from which you edit. In the case of Good Vibrations, this was two-and-a-half hours long, complicated by their desire to keep adding material! Another challenge was the fact that they were dealing with someone’s legacy (and of someone still alive as well as everyone who experienced the events). The film was “fun to do, but there was stuff not to be trivialised,” Nick said.

Nick expands on this by describing how so many involved with the film, the directors, producers, cast and himself, all grew up during the Troubles and were affected by it:

“We spent a full week watching [the archives]. It was very, very traumatic. There were some very unpleasant things to watch … We were all from here. Belfast made us the way we are: even if you tried not to, you couldn’t help but bring Belfast into the piece.”

Simon Wood from Northern Visions asked Nick whether he was afraid of meeting real people on the street, who might react negatively to their portrayal in the film. “At the end of the day it’s not a documentary. You need to be true to the story,” answered Nick.

Nick described Terri Hooley’s involvement in the film. Glenn (Delaney?) had a series of conversations with Terri over years, and Terri was present on the set during filming, but Nick added that Terri was respectful of the process and didn’t interfere.

In regards to music selection, “it was a pleasure when you were dealing with so many great tracks”. I asked Nick if there was going to be a soundtrack, as well as where we could get an unabridged list of tracks he dealt with. “We’re working on it” and “Spotify” were his replies.

The final comment from the audience was from someone who knew Terri “for a very long time”:

“I always knew Terri as a person with a great love for music. He had a great love for people, so he did. As a matter of fact, he gave me a lot of records, never even charged me for them.”

Nick replied, “I hope that came across [in the film]. Terri has a heart of gold. He’s such a good soul … He undoubtedly did a tremendous amount for the kids here in the 1970s and 80s.”

Good Vibrations is indeed a heart-warming and uplifting story of a man and place in troubled times.

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Private

Review – Andy WARHOL @TheMACBelfast

20130402 MAC Andy Warhol Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait with Hand to Cheek (1977/1978), Andy Warhol

Another art exhibition review in less than a week. This isn’t my day job, honest.

After a work related meetup at the MAC Belfast, I toured the Andy Warhol exhibition. This was my first time at the MAC, so I was inspecting the venue, too.

I’m excited that Belfast has at long last a contemporary arts venue, after decades of going into the Ulster Museum to be greeted by a dinosaur. (The renovated Ulster Museum still greets you with a dinosaur; the modern art is usually spiralled away on the top floor.)

A greeter at the entrance of the MAC said hello. That welcoming feeling soon wore away when I asked for a gallery map, and was told there was one in the £3 tour guide for the Warhol exhibition. Three pounds for a gallery map?

The MAC is actually better described as a venue for examining and exploring creativity. The rooms are all disjointed, on all levels. Great when seeking a hideaway space for solitude or collaboration. Not so great for exhibitions that span more than one room. I wasn’t the only one who got lost in trying to follow the sequence of rooms.

And the exhibition itself?

Not bad actually.

20130402 MAC Andy Warhol IMG_6140

I reckon the exhibition starts in the basement, with “Warhol: A life on film”. A 28-minute loop film was running, showing interviews with those who knew him. After getting the gist, I climbed the stairs and searched around for the next room, “Warhol on marketing, celebrity and himself”. This was predominantly two walls of film posters that showed the evolution of Warhol the brand. My favourite was “Il cinema di Warhol”, with the artist’s name incorporated in a Pepsi-Cola logo.

20130402 MAC Andy Warhol IMG_6136

In this section was a room that contained an installation of floating silver, rectangular balloons. Perhaps inspiration for Jeff Koons’ balloon art?

I thought that the way to finish off painting for me would be to have a painting that floats, so I inverted the floating silver rectangles that you fill up with helium and let out of your windows.

20130402 MAC Andy Warhol IMG_6150

Next room was harder to find, but the largest by far. And this is where the curation worked best for me. Plenty of space to stand back and take in the large silkscreens. Appropriate for a Northern Ireland audience, there were “Repent and Sin No More!” and “The Mark of the Beast”. Both works are dated 1985/1986, near the time of Andy Warhol’s death and when I was making his discovery in my university art history courses. (I should have made an effort to see him during an exhibition in Newport, Rhode Island, the year before!) The works on display in this room bear out Warhol’s preoccupation with war, death and religion. A fitting finale to this pop art icon.

20130402 MAC Andy Warhol IMG_6154

It was good to see the MAC so busy on Easter Tuesday, which was open for this public holiday only observed in Northern Ireland. (I still don’t understand why the God-fearing people of Ulster don’t observe Good Friday, but that’s another issue.)

I look forward to returning to the MAC for future events, having passed an initiation of navigating its modern architecture.

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@MrUlster

Book review – To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper LEE)

20120403 To Kill a Mockingbird

Somehow I escaped reading this essential school text, with its story of racism in 1930s American South. Living in Northern Ireland, I draw parallels with sectarianism, with its similar bigotry and prejudice.

To Kill a Mockingbird was part of a Unite Against Hate campaign event at Parliament Buildings in Northern Ireland, which I’ve written about separately.

There is one passage that directly deals with religious difference:

Miss Maudie settled her bridgework. “You know old Mr Radley was a foot-washing Baptist –”
“That’s what you are, ain’t it?” (says Scout)
My shell’s not that hard, child. I’m just a Baptist.”

I particularly like the lesson imparted by Scout’s father Atticus, on whether he was right or wrong to take on the doomed case of Tom Robinson:

“Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.”
“Atticus, you must be wrong…”
“How’s that?”
“Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong…”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that … but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to be able to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscious.”

That made me think of anti-Nazi campaigner Sophie Scholl’s exclaim, “We are your conscious!”

Indeed, after a classroom lesson on democracy, dictatorship and Hitler, Scout asked her older brother:

“[Miss Gates] went on today about how bad it was him treatin’ the Jews like that. Jem, it’s not right to persecute anybody, is it? I mean have mean thoughts about anybody, even, is it?”
“Gracious no, Scout. What’s eatin’ you?”
“Well, coming out of the court-house that night Miss Gates was … talking with Miss Stephanie Crawford. I heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us. Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home?”

So, it’s fine to agree what you deem wrong wherever it happens, but harder to address your own moral hypocrisies.

It’s clear why To Kill a Mockingbird is required reading for all, and why it has stood the test of time for over 50 years.