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Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin Ealaíontóir - Artist






Crisis? What Crisis?
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin (@cocroidheain) is an Irish artist, lecturer and writer who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes (http://gaelart.net/).  His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/. He currently works as a part-time lecturer in Language and Cultural Identity, and Geopolitics at All Hallows College, in Intercultural Communication at Champlain College, and in Aesthetics and History of Irish Art for Boston University, all in Dublin. caoimhghin@yahoo.com

 




Death by State
(Alton Sterling, Sherman Evans, Philando Castile)
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
Alton Sterling
On July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot several times at close range while held down on the ground by two white Baton Rouge Police Department officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Police were responding to a report that a man in a red shirt was selling CDs, and that he had used a gun to threaten someone outside a convenience store. The shooting was recorded by multiple bystanders. The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and a request for a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Alton_Sterling

Philando Castile
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was fatally shot by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer, after being pulled over in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. Castile was driving a car with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter as passengers when he was pulled over by Yanez and another officer. According to Reynolds, after being asked for his license and registration, Castile told the officer he was licensed to carry a weapon and had one in the car. Reynolds stated: "The officer said don't move. As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times." Diamond Reynolds live-streamed a video on Facebook in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. It shows her interacting with the armed officer as a mortally injured Castile lay slumped over, moaning slightly and his left arm and side bloody. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office ruled Castile's death a homicide and said he had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. The office reported that Castile died at 9:37 p.m. CDT in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center, about 20 minutes after being shot.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Philando_Castile


Sherman Evans
Police have released harrowing bodycam footage of the moment officers fatally shoot a man who was allegedly pointing a weapon at them. Sherman Evans, 63, was shot and killed by police officers on Monday, June 27, in Washington DC. It was later confirmed that the weapon was actually a BB gun. In the clip, officers can clearly be heard pleading with Evans to drop his weapon. The footage has been released after a black man, Alton Sterling, was shot dead by police at close range in Louisiana , sparking protests across the US. On Wednesday, a woman in Minnesota live streamed the moment her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was shot dead by officers after police pulled them over in their car. The most recent video, though, marks the first time the Metropolitan Police Department has released bodycam footage of an officer-involved shooting since they started using the equipment in 2015, according to NBC Washington. According to reports, police responded to an emergency call made at 10.22pm, which was supposedly made by Mr Evans himself. Officers arrived at the address in Northeast DC just three minutes later.One policeman jumps out of his car and shouts: "Drop the gun."Several other officers can be seen with their guns pointed in Mr Evans' direction.They then plead with him to drop his weapons, shouting: "Come on, sir! Put it down. We'll talk. We'll talk."A police report suggests that at this point, Mr Evans raised his gun and pointed it at officers before 15 shots were fired.It is believed that five officers fired their weapons at Mr Evans - and he was hit by at least three bullets. Immediately after the shooting, officers rush over to Mr Evans and immediately begin administering first aid.
He was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center at 10.53pm but was pronounced dead less than 20 minutes later.
www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/harrowing-police-bodycam-footage-shows-8376162

 


 



Green Screen Riot
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
News bulletins around the world have been following Russia's election rallies. But one channel stands out - America's Fox News has been showing streets ablaze, violent clashes and firebombs thrown at security officers, but with one major problem - the images are not from Russia, they're from Greece.
See: Riot Wrong

 


 



Humanitarian Warfare
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
Humanitarian bombing is a phrase referring to the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (24 March – 10 June 1999) during the Kosovo War used by its opponents as an ironic oxymoron in response to the stated goal of NATO to protect Kosovo Albanians, and later about other military interventions stressing human rights reasons. The closely related phrase humanitarian war appeared at the same time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_bombing

 






Syrian Children
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in
(Based on images of children found dead on a beach at the western Libyan coastal town of Zuwara.)



Notes:
The tragedy comes less than a week after volunteers from the Libya Red Crescent and concerned citizens from the western Libyan coastal town of Zuwara scrambled to recover dozens of bodies washed ashore after a boat carrying between 430 and 470 people capsized a few miles off shore. Because the boat had capsized so close to shore, the cadavers started washing up on the same day of the accident. A crew from the Zuwara coastguard was returning to port after sundown when they were called to a beach near the town of Abu Kammash where five children were found dead.
http://migrantreport.org/more-dead-children-this-time-on-turkeys-beaches/
 


 



Death and Modernity:
Torture, Suicide Bomber and Aerial Bombardment.
Oil on canvas  / 450cm x 150cm


Notes:
Interrogation
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
United Nations Convention Against Torture defines torture as:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

Aftermath of Suicide Bomber, Morgue in Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
A man looking for relatives at a morgue in Rawalpindi in Pakistan after a suicide bombing in which at least 35 people were killed and dozens more wounded in November 2009. Soldiers and civilians had gathered outside a branch of the National Bank of Pakistan to collect their monthly salaries and pension payments when the bomb exploded.

Aerial Bombardment
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977
Art 51. - Protection of the civilian population
1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances. 2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited. 3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. 4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are: (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective; (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/470-750065?OpenDocument

 






Slum World:
Mumbai, India / Nairobi, Kenya / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oil on canvas  / 450cm x 150cm


Notes:
Dharavi Slum, Mumbai, India
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
While Dharavi has been featured in films such as Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, the difficulties such as sanitation issues, an inadequate water supply, overcrowding and poverty faced by people who live there are some of the worst in the world.  It is estimated that around 1 million people live in Dharavi making it one of the largest slums in Asia.

Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
Kibera is the second largest urban slum in Africa (after Soweto in South Africa) with a population estimated at between 600,000 and 1.2 million inhabitants.  It is located in southwest Nairobi, about 5 kilometers from the city centre.  Improving the situation for the people who live there has been beset by problems such as petty and serious crime, difficult vehicle access, and the lack of building foundations as much of the ground is composed of refuse and rubbish.

Favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
Many favelas in Rio de Janeiro are shanty towns built up the side of hills with access only by stairs and narrow pathways.  They are affected by landslides in heavy rain and their inhabitants regularly have to face the problems of drug wars and petty crime. Many were constructed in the 1970s when a construction boom attracted rural workers from poorer states in Brazil. It is estimated that about 19 per cent of Rio de Janeiro’s population is living in one of 600 favelas around the city.

 







Recycling the Poor:
Rubbish Dump Recycling, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Phone Recycling, Dharavi slum, Mumbai, India and Ship Dismantling, Alang Shipyard, India.

Oil on canvas  / 450cm x 150cm


Notes:
Rubbish Dump Recycling, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in

It is believed that over 3000 scavengers live and work around the Stung Meanchey municipal rubbish dump situated on the outskirts of Cambodia’s capital city Phnom Penh. Many of the scavengers are children who have to leave school to earn money for their families. They work up to 14 hours a day looking for glass, plastic, metal and any other materials which can be recycled. Fumes from burning rubbish, dirty needles, flies and truck accidents pose huge threats to the safety and health of the workers there. 

Phone Recycling, Mumbai, India
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in

In many slums around Mumbai people worked in traditional industries such as pottery and textiles. Now there is a growing recycling industry processing waste from other parts of Mumbai. Many of these industries are carried out in one-roomed factories manufacturing products that are distributed globally. While there have been some projects set up to improve living conditions, Dharavi remains a source of cheap labor for local and foreign investors.

Ship Dismantling, Alang Shipyard, India
Oil on canvas 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in
Many ships such as supertankers, car ferries and container ships are dismantled on the beach at Alang in the state of Gujarat, on the west coast of India.  Thousands of people work in this industry and millions of tons of steel and other materials are recovered and then sold as scrap. However, it is a very dangerous business and the process maims and kills many workers each year and the shoreline is contaminated with oily waste, asbestos, toxic paint and other toxic materials.

 






Baltimore Riots
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
On April 12, 2015, Baltimore Police Department officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American resident of Baltimore, Maryland. Gray sustained injuries to his neck and spine while in transport in a police vehicle. On April 18, 2015, after Gray's subsequent coma, the residents of Baltimore protested in front of the Western district police station. Gray died the following day, April 19, 2015, a week after the arrest.

Further protests were organized after Gray's death became public knowledge, amid the police department's continuing inability to adequately or consistently explain the events following the arrest and the injuries. Spontaneous protests started after the funeral service, although several included violent elements. Civil unrest continued with at least twenty police officers injured, at least 250 people arrested, 285 to 350 businesses damaged, 150 vehicle fires, 60 structure fires, 27 drugstores looted, thousands of police and Maryland National Guard troops deployed, and with a state of emergency declared in the city limits of Baltimore.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Baltimore_protests

 






Blue Skies, Blue Seas, Blue Gloves:
Mediterranean Migrants
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
The European migrant crisis or European refugee crisis began in 2015, when a rising number of refugees and migrants made the journey to the European Union (EU) to seek asylum, travelling across the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe. They came from areas such as Western and South Asia, Africa, and the Western Balkans. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the top three nationalities of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January 2015 and March 2016 were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%). Of the refugees and migrants arriving in Europe by sea in 2015, 58% were men, 17% women and 25% children. The number of deaths at sea rose to record levels in April 2015, when five boats carrying almost 2,000 migrants to Europe sank in the Mediterranean Sea, with a combined death toll estimated at more than 1,200 people.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_migrant_crisis

 






Kathmandu Earthquake
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000. It occurred at 11:56 Nepal Standard Time on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8Mw or 8.1Ms and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). Its epicenter was east of Gorkha District at Barpak, Gorkha, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 8.2 km (5.1 mi). It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake. The ground motion recorded in Kathmandu valley was of low frequency which, along with its occurrence at an hour where many people in rural areas were working outdoors, decreased the loss of property and human life.

Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Square, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple, the Boudhanath stupa and the Swayambhunath Stupa. Geophysicists and other experts had warned for decades that Nepal was vulnerable to a deadly earthquake, particularly because of its geology, urbanization, and architecture.

Disastrous events in very poor and politically paralyzed nations such as Nepal often become a long drawn out chain of events, in that one disaster feeds into another for years or even decades upon end. The aftereffects from the earthquake have knock-on effects on a myriad of seemingly unrelated aspects: human trafficking, labour cost and availability, rental and property cost burdens, urbanization, private and public debt burdens, mental health, politics, tourism, disease, and damage to the healthcare system.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_2015_Nepal_earthquake

 






Gaza Ambulance
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict also known as Operation Protective Edge (Hebrew: Miv'tza Tzuk Eitan, lit. "Operation Strong Cliff") and sometimes referred to as the 2014 Gaza war, was a military operation launched by Israel on 8 July 2014 in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Following the IDF Operation Brother's Keeper, Hamas started rocket attacks, targeting Israeli cities and infrastructure, resulting in seven weeks of Israeli operations. The Israeli strikes, the Palestinian rocket attacks and the ground fighting resulted in the death of thousands of people, the vast majority of them Gazans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict


 






Odessa
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
Some 1,000 Ukrainian rightists, led by the notorious Right Sector, surrounded, stormed, and burned the House of Trade Unions in Odessa last Friday, killing 39 pro-Russia demonstrators in the building. On their way to attacking the union hall, which was occupied by anti-Kiev government demonstrators fearing for their lives, the rightists recruited members of a Ukrainian football club, the Chernomorets, according to numerous reports in the European press and on line. Many of those who attacked and burned the building wore swastikas and other fascist insignias, according to observers. Eye witnesses said that the fascists were armed with bats, shields, and metal chains and that the people inside the union hall had run there for protection from them. After the attack by the rightists streets around the trade union headquarters were reportedly stained with the blood of those who had jumped from windows to escape the flames. Women and children were reported to be among those burned alive after initial rounds of shots and Molotov cocktails were thrown into the building by the right wingers.
http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/ukrainian-rightists-burn-alive-39-at-odessa-union-building/

 






Media Studies, Libya
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, died on 20 October 2011 during the Battle of Sirte, aged c. 69. Gaddafi was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces. He was killed shortly afterwards. The NTC initially claimed he died from injuries sustained in a firefight when loyalist forces attempted to free him, although videos of his last moments show rebel fighters beating him and one of them sodomizing him with a bayonet before he was shot several times as he shouted for his life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Muammar_Gaddafi


In Greek mythology Medusa (Μέδουσα "guardian, protectress") was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with a hideous face and living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazers on her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus (Fabulae Preface) makes Medusa the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. The 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa

Onlookers take photos and videos of the dying Gaddafi. The eye of Medusa is placed on the eye of the camera.

 






Climate Chaos
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
Climate Chaos and... Resource Collapse
Of all of the big drivers for the next two decades, climate chaos and resource collapse have the most complex interaction. On the surface, it's clear that each can make the other worse: agricultural collapse can push people to tear down rain forests faster (both reducing a carbon sink and putting even more carbon into the air by burning); greater storms & droughts can produce massive refugee movements, overwhelming local resource bases; drivers and industry looking for an alternative to oil pushing for biofuels, driving up the cost of food; desperate communities choosing survival over the careful maintenance of ecosystem services. It's a truly vicious cycle.
http://www.openthefuture.com/2008/02/the_big_picture_climate_chaos.html

 






Australia Mining
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in
Indigenous Peoples and Mining


Notes:
The relationship between indigenous peoples and mining is defined by struggles over access to land. The interests of resource industries, of course, lie in securing unfettered (as far as possible) access to land and guaranteeing that access over the longer term. This has sometimes meant quite heated campaigns against the recognition of indigenous rights, not just to the mineral resources or a share in the Wealth but against indigenous rights to control over land.

This is not to say that no constructive engagement has occurred between indigenous peoples and mining companies. Indeed the generalization that indigenous people are always opposed to development is mistaken. The basis of this assumption, however, is a reflection of a more complex dynamic involving not just a local indigenous community and a single resource developer, but extending to the fundamental relationship between indigenous peoples and the state in Australia and to the extent, or lack, of recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples at a national and state level.
https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/australia/old-habits-die-hard-indigenous-land-rights-and-mi

 






Bangladeshi Factory
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
The 2013 Savar building collapse or Rana Plaza collapse was a structural failure that occurred on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka, Bangladesh, where an eight-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed. The search for the dead ended on 13 May 2013 with a death toll of 1,129. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the building alive. It is considered the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, as well as the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history.

The building contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments, and several shops. The shops and the bank on the lower floors immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building. The building's owners ignored warnings to avoid using the building after cracks had appeared the day before. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day, and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Savar_building_collapse

 






Mexican Border
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
The Mexico–United States border is an international boundary running from Tijuana, Baja California, and Imperial Beach, California, in the west to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas, in the east. This border, separating Mexico and the United States from each other, traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from major urban areas to uninhabitable deserts. It is the most frequently crossed controlled international boundary in the world, with approximately 350 million legal crossings being made annually.

The total length of the continental border is 3,201 kilometers (1,989 mi). From the Gulf of Mexico, it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas; westward from that binational conurbation it crosses vast tracts of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts to the Colorado River Delta, westward to the binational conurbation of San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California, before reaching the Pacific Ocean.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico%E2%80%93United_States_border

 




Environ-mental: Climate Chaos and Pollution
Oil on canvas / 120cm x 120cm / 47 in x 47 in


Notes:
This series of paintings entitled 'Environ-mental: Climate Chaos and Pollution ' is based on a combination of the classical Greek idea of the four elements (Air, Water, Fire and Earth) with modern aspects of climate chaos that we are going through currently. 'Environ-mental' refers to the 'mental' or crazy aspect of the modern economy which proceeds regardless of the effects of modern industrialisation on the global climate. As we move from 'Global Warming' through 'Climate Change' to 'Climate Chaos', we can see the terminology describing the effects of human activity on the climate changing yet the underlying causes seem to stay the same (or get worse) without any significant sincere international effort to counter this problem.

'Part 1: Air' looks at the effects of increased car ownership around the world is having on air quality creating smog locally, and the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on global warming from cars globally.

'Part 2: Water' notes the increased frequency of hurricanes which cause flooding locally while at the same time the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes warming and more water to be evaporated from the ocean, leading, it has been estimated, to ever more frequent and even more intense hurricanes over the next century.

'Part 3: Fire' looks at the increasing frequency of wildfires globally as warming intensifies areas with long hot summers in hot and dry climates causing extensive damage to huge forested areas (and thereby decreasing the tree-covered areas that act as carbon dioxide sinks), while at the same time causing untold damage to property and human life.

'Part 4: Earth' shows the devastating effects of pollution, a by-product of carbon-based industrialisation (both in terms of oil and oil-based products such as plastics) have on planet earth and its wildlife especially in worst case scenarios such as major oil spills, accidental or intentional. However, this painting also shows the concern of people who are willing to volunteer to clean up such environmental disasters despite risking health problems, such as pulmonary, cardiovascular, and chromosomal diseases.

This painting is based on the Prestige oil disaster: The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill in Galicia caused by the sinking of the oil tanker MV Prestige in 2002. The spill polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline[1] and more than one thousand beaches on the Spanish, French and Portuguese coast, as well as causing great harm to the local fishing industry. The spill is the largest environmental disaster in the history of both Spain and Portugal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestige_oil_spill


 




Power
Oil on canvas / 120cm x 120cm / 47 in x 47 in


Notes:
Power: No. 1 - Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan
Oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in
The explosion at the nuclear facility following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. The flooded generators failed, cutting power to the critical pumps that must continuously circulate coolant water through the reactor which led to several hydrogen-air chemical explosions.

Power: No.2 - Petroleum coke, Detroit, USA
Oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in
The 79.8 million tons of petcoke stockpiled near the Detroit River originally came from
the oil sands of Canada. Petcoke has a high heat and low ash content but is also high in sulfur which makes it environmentally problematic. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t allow for petcoke to be burned anywhere in the U.S so most of it is sold on to China.

Power: No.3 - Shengtou Power Plant, Shanxi Province, Shuozhou, China
Oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in
The Shengtou plant is one of the country’s largest coal burning power plants.
China produced more carbon dioxide than the United States for the first time last year,
making it the world's biggest producer of the primary gas blamed for global warming.
New figures from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency show China produced 6,200 million tonnes of CO2 in 2006, while the US produced 5,800 million tonnes.

Power: No.4 - Iranian crude oil supertanker "Delvar" anchored off Singapore
Oil on canvas 60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in
Military action against Iran could result in unbearable global oil price increases so oil exporters are being encouraged to increase their production and release strategic oil reserves in the event of a supply disruption.


 






War Triptych


Notes:
After World War II the world split into two large geopolitical blocs and spheres of influence with contrary views on government and the politically correct society:
1 - The bloc of democratic-industrial countries within the American influence sphere, the "First World".
2 - The Eastern bloc of the communist-socialist states, the "Second World".
3 - The remaining three-quarters of the world's population, states not aligned with either bloc were regarded as the "Third World."
(
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm)

The First World War was to a large extent the war of the First World re-carving global markets with the intention of obtaining a greater share for themselves. Trench warfare was the dominant form with soldiers going over the top in  waves of attacks or risking being shot by their own officers if refusing to do so.

Although we don't hear the term so much now, the Second World referred to the Soviet Union. In their desire to defeat the Soviet Union politically and economically the capitalist powers supported and funded the development of munitions factories in Germany in the hope that Germany would become a springboard for an attack on the Soviet Union. This the Nazis did do eventually with a massive array of tanks and soldiers in a war that cost the lives of 15 million soviet citizens.

It has been argued that the Third World war is actually upon us though the superpowers have chosen to fight by proxy rather than head on. In some cases direct intervention has been employed provoking local reaction in the form of car bombs, the most recent weapon in the asymmetric warfare between the weak and the strong.

 






The Struggle for Africa:
Ogaden, Ethiopia; Street Battles, The Congo and Duékoué, Côte d'Ivoire
Triptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 180cm / 23.6 in x 70.6 in


Notes:
China overtook the US as Africa's most prolific trading partner back in 2009. Trade between the continent and Beijing stood at over one hundred and twenty billion dollars as of 2010, with China holding influence over the economies of multiple states, not to mention the African Union (AU). What's marked African politics in recent years is the growing competitiveness of the far-off Chinese with a seemingly omnipresent US imperialism. And the latter is well armed. Despite previous claims to only operate a single base out of Djibouti, the United States African Command (AFRICOM) currently fields a presence in over forty nations, showing that talk of a "new scramble" for Africa, albeit it this time with the old imperial powers of Europe taking second place, may be well founded.

The late Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, an original pioneer of current US military interests on the continent, went down on record in 2008 for admitting AFRICOM was really about securing "the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market." A year before, another American official, one Dr. J. Peter Pham, as an advisor to the State Department, linked AFRICOM objectives to “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance." What is revealing about this comment is that "other interested third parties" were cited as being a direct threat to US interests on the continent, with Russia, India and China coming in for special mention. Aid from China leapt to $10 billion dollars between 2009 and 2012, with Beijing upping the scale of outgoing loans to various African nations precisely for infrastructure development. As early as 2008, Africa commanded an impressive 9.8 percent of China's total foreign direct investment (FDI), a sizeable figure and an apparently clear indication of Beijing's drive to do serious business with African leaders.

http://www.towardfreedom.com/30-archives/africa/3910-the-new-imperial-scramble-for-africa-how-china-and-the-us-compete-over-africa-s-resources-and-labor

 




City Demonstrations: Madrid and Athens
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
The anti-austerity movement in Spain, also referred to as the 15-M Movement (Spanish: Movimiento 15-M), the Indignados Movement, and Take the Square had origins in social networks such as Real Democracy NOW (Spanish: Democracia Real YA) or Youth Without a Future (Spanish: Juventud Sin Futuro). and began with demonstrations on 15 May 2011 close to the local and regional elections, held on 22 May. Spanish media related the movement to the economic crisis, Stéphane Hessel's Time for Outrage!, the NEET-troubled generation and current demonstrations in the Middle East and North Africa, Iran, Greece, and Portugal, as well as the 2009 Icelandic demonstrations. Demonstrators protested high unemployment rates, welfare cuts, Spanish politicians, and the two-party system in Spain, as well as the political system, capitalism, banks, and political corruption. Many called for basic rights, of home, work, culture, health and education.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-austerity_movement_in_Spain

The anti-austerity movement in Greece involves a series of demonstrations and general strikes taking place across the country. The events, which began on 5 May 2010, were provoked by plans to cut public spending and raise taxes as austerity measures in exchange for a €110 billion bail-out, aimed at solving the Greek government-debt crisis. Three people were killed on 5 May in one of the largest demonstrations in Greece since 1973. On 25 May 2011, anti-austerity activists organised by the Direct Democracy Now! movement, known as the Indignant Citizens Movement (Greek: Κίνημα Αγανακτισμένων Πολιτών, Kínima Aganaktisménon-Politón), started demonstrating in major cities across Greece. This second wave of demonstrations proved different from the years before in that they are not partisan and began through peaceful means. Some of the events later turned violent, particularly in the capital city of Athens. Inspired by the anti-austerity protests in Spain, these demonstrations were organised entirely using social networking sites, which earned it the nickname "May of Facebook". The demonstrations and square sit-ins were officially ended when municipal police removed demonstrators from Thessaloniki's White Tower square on 7 August 2011.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-austerity_movement_in_Greece

 


 

Syria Conflict: FSA vs Syrian Arab Army
Diptych / Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria in which international interventions have taken place. The war grew out of the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring and escalated to armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad's government violently repressed protests calling for his removal. The war is now being fought among several factions: the Syrian Government and its various supporters, a loose alliance of Syrian Arab rebel groups, the Syrian Democratic Forces, Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front) who often co-operate with the rebels, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The factions receive substantial support from foreign actors, leading many to label the conflict a proxy war waged by both regional and global powers.Syrian opposition groups formed the Free Syrian Army and seized control of the area surrounding Aleppo and parts of southern Syria. Over time, factions of the Syrian opposition split from their original moderate position to pursue an Islamist vision for Syria, as al-Nusra Front and ISIL. In the north, Syrian government forces largely withdrew to fight the FSA, allowing the Kurdish YPG to move in and proclaim de facto autonomy.

Both the Syrian government and the opposition have received support, militarily and diplomatically, from foreign countries leading the conflict to often be described as a proxy war. The major parties supporting the Syrian Government are Iran and Hezbollah. Both of these are involved in the war politically and logistically by providing military equipment, training and battle troops. The Syrian government has also received arms from Russia and SIGINT support directly from GRU, in addition to significant political support from Russia. The main Syrian opposition body – the Syrian coalition – receives political, logistic and military support from the United States, Britain and France. Some Syrian rebels get training from the CIA at bases in Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Under the aegis of operation Timber Sycamore and other clandestine activities, CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have trained and armed nearly 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year since 2012. The Syrian coalition also receives logistic and political support from Sunni states, most notably Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia; all the three major supporting states however have not contributed any troops for direct involvement in the war, though Turkey was involved in border incidents with the Syrian Army.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War

 






Victims: Libya / Sudan
Diptych /
Oil on canvas / 60cm x 120cm / 23.6 in x 47 in


Notes:
Libya
Libya (Arabic: ليبيا‎‎ Lībiyā) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west.  On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions including Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya. On 19 March, the first act of NATO allies to secure the no-fly zone by destroying Libyan air defences began when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets.

In the weeks that followed, American forces were in the forefront of NATO operations against Libya. More than 8,000 American personnel in warships and aircraft were deployed in the area. At least 3,000 targets were struck in 14,202 strike sorties, 716 of them in Tripoli and 492 in Brega. The American air offensive included flights of B-2 Stealth bombers, each bomber armed with sixteen 2000-pound bombs, flying out of and returning to their base in Missouri on the continental United States. The support provided by the NATO airforces was pivotal in the ultimate success of the revolution. By 22 August 2011, rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs' Square in honour of those killed since 17 February 2011. On 20 October 2011 the last heavy fighting of the uprising came to an end in the city of Sirte, where Gaddafi was captured and killed. The defeat of loyalist forces was celebrated on 23 October 2011, three days after the fall of Sirte. At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya


Sudan
Sudan (Arabic: السودان‎‎ as-Sūdān), also known as North Sudan and officially the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودان‎‎ Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in northeastern Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea, Eritrea, and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan

South Sudan officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa that gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. Between 9 and 15 January 2011, a referendum was held to determine whether South Sudan should become an independent country and separate from Sudan. 98.83% of the population voted for independence. Those living in the north and expatriates living overseas also voted. South Sudan formally became independent from Sudan on 9 July, although certain disputes still remained, including the division of oil revenues, as 75% of all the former Sudan's oil reserves are in South Sudan. The United States supported the 2011 referendum on South Sudan's independence. The New York Times reported that "South Sudan is in many ways an American creation, carved out of war-torn Sudan in a referendum largely orchestrated by the United States, its fragile institutions nurtured with billions of dollars in American aid." China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is a major investor in South Sudan's oil sector. South Sudan's economy is under pressure to diversify away from oil as oil reserves will likely halve by 2020 if no new finds are made, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sudan

Nowhere else in Africa do China’s financial, diplomatic and geopolitical interests confront as much risk as they do in South Sudan. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in the country’s oil sector, deployed about 1,000 troops to serve as U.N. peacekeepers and committed considerable diplomatic capital to help resolve the ongoing civil/ethnic war. Even though Beijing has repeatedly sent its most senior Africa diplomats to help broker a cease-fire and committed vast sums of money for investment and development, none of it seems like it will do much to slow South Sudan’s seemingly inevitable decline to becoming the world’s newest failed state. The destruction this conflict has caused is staggering. Some 50,000 are believed to have been killed in the two-year civil war, many by some of the 16,000 child soldiers who have been forcibly conscripted by both sides. At least a quarter of a million people are on the move, fleeing the combined threats of war, drought and famine.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/china-south-sudan-future_us_5769a47fe4b0c0252e778e38

 




Mustard Gas
Oil on canvas / 50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in


Notes:
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. The agreement is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is an independent organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.

 






Immigrant
Oil on canvas / 50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in


Notes:
"The Civil Guard takes charge of a drowned man in Santa Pola, Alicante, as the search for his companions continued. The body, which was of an Algerian immigrant, was found 15 miles from the island of Tabarca, Alicante, Spain."
[El Pais 13 August 2010]

 






Massacre Marketing
Oil on canvas / 50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in


Notes:
Massacre marketing: Killing people on purpose in order to incite worldwide public opinion particularly by getting an opposing group blamed for the killing.






Drone Victim, Pakistan

Oil on canvas / 60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in


Notes:
Leaked military documents reveal that the vast majority of people killed [in drone attacks] have not been the intended targets, with approximately 13% of deaths being the intended targets, 81% being other militants, and 6% being civilians. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has repeatedly demanded an end to the strikes, stating: "The use of drones is not only a continual violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_strikes_in_Pakistan
 






Room Without a View
Oil on canvas / 60cm x 80cm / 23.6 in x 31.5 in


Notes:
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which is currently in force since June 26, 1987, provides a broad definition of torture. Article 1.1 of the UN Convention Against Torture reads:

"For the purpose of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture#UN_Convention_Against_Torture

 






The Bullet and the Damage Done
Cairo Demonstrators, Egypt

Oil on canvas / 70cm x 100cm / 27.6 in x 39.4 in


Notes:
The Egyptian revolution of 2011, locally known as the January 25 Revolution (Egyptian Arabic: ثورة 25 يناير‎‎; Thawret 25 yanāyir), began on 25 January 2011 and took place across all of Egypt. It consisted of demonstrations, marches, occupations of plazas, riots, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience and strikes. Millions of protesters from a range of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The revolution included Islamic, liberal, anti-capitalist, nationalist and feminist elements. Violent clashes between security forces and protesters resulted in at least 846 people killed and over 6,000 injured. Protesters burned over 90 police stations. The protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities.

The Egyptian protesters' grievances focused on legal and political issues, including police brutality, state-of-emergency laws, lack of free elections and freedom of speech, corruption, and economic issues including high unemployment, food-price inflation and low wages. The protesters' primary demands were the end of the Mubarak regime and emergency law, freedom, justice, a responsive non-military government and a voice in managing Egypt's resources. Strikes by labour unions added to the pressure on government officials.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_revolution_of_2011

 




Hommage à Haiti
Oil on canvas / 150cm x 150cm / 59.1 in x 59.1 in


Notes:
When French commissioner Léger Felicité Sonthonx arrived on the island [of Haiti] in 1791, he faced a full scale rebellion by the white aristocracy and had to use an army of local slaves to put them down. The leader of this army would become one of the greatest generals in history. This self-educated Haitian General’s name was Toussaint Louverture. After putting down the landowners, Louverture liberated the entire slave population. Louverture and the Black Jacobins successfully defeated the French occupiers and Haiti became the first free black nation in the world.
[from France and the History of Haiti by Gearóid Ó Colmáin]

 


 

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