2017 - Ongoing
Themmuns is a photo project on youth in Northern Ireland.
The title refers to a slang word for „them ones“, the opposing side in Northern Ireland debates among Catholic Irish Republicans and Protestant Loyalists. Fellow members of one‘s own side are known as ›ussuns‹.
With UK’s 2016 Brexit referendum Nothern Ireland would have to leave the European Union in 2019 although a majority of its citizens voted to remain.
Local Protestant Loyalists predominantly supported Brexit whereas the other fraction of mainly Catholic Irish Republicans were against it. After more than 30 Years of conflict during the so called ›Troubles‹ one of the fundamentals of the Peace Process declared in the 1998 Good Friday Aggreement is the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – wich will, in a post Brexit scenario become an external border of the European Union. Now there is serious concern that such a hard border was very likely to undermine and threaten the Peace Process in Northern Ireland.
In my project I was interested in exploring daily life situations with youth from both confessional communities and find out more about their concerns, surroundings and way of life. These observations may often have revealed more similarities than differences of lifestyle in a world of sectarian strife and political conflict mainly maintained by the older generation and recently blazed up again through the Brexit referendum. The work is about an empathic and sensitive view on whatever I felt could contribute to a comprehensive documentary of a social condition and a young generation’s quest for identity.
The structure of the comprehensive body of work follows prevailing geographical demarcations with chapters each referring to a specific neighbourhood in Belfast or Northern Ireland with its corresponding ethnopolitical and confessional orientations.