The Glass Wall in Trinity

Trinity students from The Glass Wall Ireland highlight barriers to social action and the refugee crisis

trinity-lifeAn engaging installation popped up early this afternoon near the cricket pitch on College’s campus. Students might have been surprised to encounter a colourful cling film wall stretched between two trees, and some may have even contributed to the messages being written on this wall, relating to solidarity with refugees. Trinity Life decided to investigate this curious new installation, looking to get behind the meaning of this unusual happening.

Three Trinity students, Ciaran Boyle (SS BESS), Louise Conway (SF Philosophy and Sociology) and Robin O’Byrne (SS French) were the instigators of this interactive demonstration. Speaking to Trinity News, Boyle explained that the wall is part of a campaign by The Glass Wall, a group based upon social activism. With their campaigns, they seek to raise awareness of various issues, stating the wall is there to “highlight social issues in Ireland and encourage people in Ireland to be more socially active”. This particular wall was erected to highlight issues surrounding refugees and the direct provision system in Ireland.  

solidarity w refugees

When asked what the wall represents, Boyle explained that it is a visual representation of the barriers between individuals and the issues that they see before them the barrier prevents them from taking action on the social issue. “You see things going in front of you but there’s a wall and you don’t know how to act.. We are trying to break down this glass wall and help people act”. Conway and O’Byrne explained that the wall is a metaphor, a “screen to look through” to help people reflect on social issues.

The wall on campus is certainly a “cool and unique way” of getting students actively engaged in social issues by having them physically write their support on the wall. The Glass Wall Ireland has a Facebook page and blog, and they also run events and workshops. Their website argues that “Social engagement and activism should be inclusive. By informing, engaging with, and offering the practical tools we look to inspire grassroots level social activism.”

Alice Whelan

Alice Whelan is a former Comment Editor and Deputy Comment Editor of Trinity News. She is a Sociology and Political Science graduate.