Themmuns - PhMuseum

Themmuns

Jens Schwarz

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.

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  • Mark & Dean fraternizing at Mountainview Tavern, Protestant Loyalist Shankill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Youth attending preparations of the local 11th Night bonfire preceding Orange Order marches on Twelfth of July. The event is discussed highly controversial between the opposing communities in NI, Protestant Loyalist Sandy Row area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • 21-year old Marc Amos (2nd l) and a youth group from the Catholic Irish Republican Newington neighbourhood in Belfast, receiving a briefing at a laser tag simulation combat camp at Randalstown, county Antrim, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Tigernach, Immaculata Boxing Club, Irish Republican Divis area, West Belfast, Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • A coffin with the Irish flag is transferred to be burned at a huge bonfire next to the so called peace wall interfacing with Catholic Irish Republican neighbourhood of Falls. As a yearly Protestant ritual, 11th Night bonfires are preceding Orange Order marches on Twelfth of July. The event is discussed highly controversial between the opposing communities in NI, Protestant Loyalist Upper Shankill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Girls group, 11th Night Conway St bonfire celebrations, Protestant Loyalist Upper Shankill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Ashmore St, Protestant Loyalist Shankill area, Belfast Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • Aaron at Stadium Bar, Protestant Loyalist Shankill Rd, Belfast, Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • Boy at marching band rehearsal, Linfield social club, Protestant Upper Shankill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Patricia, Protestant Loyalist teenage girl dancing at 11th Night celebraions, Lower Shankill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Jarlath holding an Irish passport he found on the street, Gibson St, Catholic Irish Republican Divis area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • Youth attending preparations of the local 11th Night bonfire preceding Orange Order marches on Twelfth of July. The event is discussed highly controversial between the opposing communities, Donegall Gardens, Protestant Loyalist Village area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Young boys from the Catholic Irish Republican community attending the funeral of the former IRA commander and Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness, Derry, Northern Ireland 23/03/2017

  • Procession preceding the funeral of former IRA and Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness, ›End British Internment‹, Derry, Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • Police blocking passage for Catholic youth as Protestant Loyalist marching bands pass through the area on Orangemen's Day 12 July, flashpoint Clifton Street service station, Catholic Irish Republican Carrick Hill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Heidi with goods in her hands, Catholic Irish Republican Carrick Hill area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Girls group confronting boys across the street because they got hurt by one of them earlier that day, Victoria Parade, Catholic Irish Republican New Lodge area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Tower block buildings, Queens Parade, Catholic Irish Republican New Lodge area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 03/2017

  • Loyalist youth group gathering and drinking alcohol in the streets, Protestant Sandy Row area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 07/2017

  • Sisters, Herbert St, Catholic Irish Republican Ardoyne area, Belfast, Northern Ireland 03/2017


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