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Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography

Features photographs by Abbas, Craig Ames, Sylvia Grace Borda, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Ursula Burke, John Byrne, Garrett Carr, Gerry Casey, Malcolm Craig Gilbert, John Davies, Victoria J. Dean, Willie Doherty, John Duncan, David Farrell, Paul Graham, Stuart Griffiths, Anthony Haughey, Kai-Olaf Hesse, Sean Hillen, Claudio Hils, Daniel Jewesbury, Philip Jones Griffiths, Bill Kirk, Peter Marlow, Brendan Murphy, Gareth McConnell, Patrick McCoy, Sean McKernan, Mary McIntyre, Moira McIver, Eoghan McTigue, Les Levines, Anthony Luvera, Jonathan Olley, Martin Parr, Adam Patterson, Mark Power, Paul Quinn, Paul Seawright, Victor Sloan, Hannah Starkey, Chris Steele-Perkins, Nick Stewart, Donovan Wylie and Patrick Zachmann.

Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography

Since the 1980s Northern Ireland has produced a distinctive body of photographic work, by photographers from within and outside Northern Ireland. This book brings together significant works by key photographers to examine the phenomenon of new photographic practices in Northern Ireland. Many of the photographers included have established global reputations, but have not previously been considered in a sustained way as group of photographers interacting with each other’s work.

Taking a historical and thematic approach, the book begins with the media imagery of the Troubles that compelled photographers and artists to intervene in the flow of press photography that dominated a global, visual portrayal of Northern Ireland in the 1970s. From this response, and influenced by wider, international trends in contemporary photography, an engaged and often polemic aesthetic emerged, individual to each photographer but also shared across diverse photographic practices. With the Peace Process in the 1990s a new dynamic entered the scene which required photographers to think about the social and political past and future of Northern Ireland, and which also offered new opportunities for exhibiting and publishing work.

While presenting an analysis of its broad aesthetics, the book also questions the extent to which the theme of conflict has dominated our view of Northern Irish photography. Through the inclusion of work by photographers with a keen sense of trends and debates in the wider contexts of contemporary photography and art, the book considers photography in and from Northern Ireland as a reflection of place in the broadest possible sense.

Published by Belfast Exposed in partnership with the MAC on the occasion of the exhibition Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography showing at Belfast Exposed and the MAC from 10 May to 7 July 2013

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