Celebrating Belfast’s 20th anniversary of ‘The Good Friday Peace Agreement’, makes you think they left the Troubles behind. But there is no denying that even today Belfast is a divided city where violence, mistrust and fear; prejudice towards and avoidance of ’the other’ community is every day’s business. Peace lines, fences, gates and neutral zones separates the communities from each other. Being close to an interface (=the intersection of segregated and polarised residential zones) you will find windows with bars for protection against ’the other’.
Many people in these segregated areas are living under a constant sense of besiegement. Even though the peace agreement marks 20 years, children are still growing up with fear for ’the other’. Living in segregated areas, going to separate schools and separate sport clubs, having their ‘own’ hospitals and shopping areas, ensures a complete avoidance till they go to university.