The Bogside Artists have returned home from Maribor, Slovenia, Europe's Cultural Capital for 2012. On May 17th the Dalai Lama unveiled a mural they painted for the city. Also present were Nobel Laureates, Roberta Menchú Tum, Prof., Prof. Dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj and the mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler. The mural depicts a monk at prayer amid a world in chaos. Explained Tom Kelly, one of the artists and their spokesman. "The theme of the mural is the death of innocence. It is a direct and concrete link to the Annette McGavigan mural we painted in the Bogside area of our home town Derry as part of The People's Gallery. Our mural for Maribor was a statement in support of the people of Tibet and those monks still in jail or in exile in India. To the West it seems that the fact of over a million people being butchered in Tibet since the Chinese invasion of 1950 never happened. That's because you can't make much money out of monks dead or alive. We are happy it was so well received and appreciated by the Dalai Lama. It is a big honour for us and for Derry. As artists we will go on speaking our minds... until they find a way to stop us... which doesn't seem too far away. We are heading towards a world where the only people allowed to be free will be lawyers, crooked judges and politicians, and those who can afford to hire them."
The Bogside Artists are presently restoring their murals in the Bogside with the help of American students from the universities of Bonaventure, Hanover and Boston colleges. You can find out more about their mural for Tibet from http://www.bogsideartists.com/blog/?p=15