Compiled by Jim Collins and Adrian Kerr
Free Derry Wall provides a comprehensive record of Derry's most famous icon over 40 years in words and images.
It was on the gable end of 33 Lecky Road, a small terraced house in Derry's Bogside, that the hand-painted slogan "You Are Now Entering Free Derry" was first scrawled in the early hours of 5 January 1969. It was born as a defiant message in the maelstrom of the civil rights struggle and went on to gain international recognition as a silent, but powerful, witness to tumultuous times.
For 40 years, the Wall has inspired much debate about what it stands for, what it should be used for, and what it actually means to people today in the aftermath of the decades of political upheaval and tentative peace. In order to explore and develop this debate, the book's compilers - artist and activist Jim Collins and Museum of Free Derry manager Adrian Kerr - posed the question: "What does Free Derry Wall mean to you?"
The responses were many and varied from local residents, politicians, artists, activists, national figures and visitors to the city.
To some, the Wall was a symbol for freedom, a political icon, community notice board or a public sculpture. To others, it was an anachronism, a vehicle for propaganda, a spent force or cliched tourist attraction.
Free Derry Wall objectively presents these diverse unabridged viewpoints accompanied by a comprehensive pictorial record of the Wall and the numerous social, political and community issues highlighted on the reverse over four decades. Notable contributors include Bernadette McAliskey, Bill Rolston, Tony Benn, Eamonn McCann, Nell McCafferty, Dr Edward Daly, Bertie Ahern, Bairbre de Brun and Mark Durkan.
Link to BBC Newsline report about Free Derry Wall
Link to selected images from the Free Derry Wall book
Published November 2009, softback, 144pp, 297mm (tall) x 210mm, fully illustrated.