‘Border, boundaries and barbed wire’


Sir, – I read with interest Gemma Tipton’s article about artist Elaine Byrne’s Borderline exhibition, which concerns “an epidemic of wall-building” throughout the world (“Borders, boundaries and barbed wire”, Arts & Ideas, September 6th).

Apart from Donald Trump’s projected Mexican wall, there is mention of walls in Cyprus, Gibraltar, Melilla, and Ceuta.

However, one such construction surely deserves to be described as the daddy of them all: Israel’s Separation Wall. Deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in July 2004 because of its massive encroachment on Palestinian territory, this wall is planned to be four times as long and (in places) twice as high as the defunct Berlin Wall. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 1.

Sir, – In addition to Gemma Tipton’s analysis of artist Elaine Byrne’s research into the wall-building phenomenon, one could add the recently completed 911-kilometre border wall between Turkey and Syria – the second-longest structure in the world, after the Great Wall of China.

The wall comprises seven-ton concrete blocks, two metres wide and three metres high, topped with one metre of razor wire.

Electronic features include close-up surveillance systems, thermal cameras, land surveillance radar, remote-controlled weapons systems, command-and-control centres, line-length imaging systems and seismic and acoustic sensors.

Surely such a structure is worthy of artistic examination?

Turkey’s ministry for EU affairs argues that without the wall (paid for with €3 billion of EU taxpayers’ money), a further 1.5 million migrants would have arrived in the EU in 2017. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.