Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Finalist
Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls
ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
EPF 2014 finalist
Our Day Will Come – Northern Ireland ( ‘Tiocfaidh àr là’ )
The bald old days of IRA attacks seem distant. The former fighters put their weapons down and are now Sinn Fein members of local parliament. However through the town center, the wall that separates the two neighborhoods of Falls Road and Shankill Road is still there and apparently for a long time.
The economic hardship weakens little by little the foundations of a society that seemed to have put its accursed history behind.
Today many young persons draw near the Republicans movements. As a result the ‘New IRA’ is created on July 2007, opposes Sinn Fein and speaks out about the treachery and the gentrification of the latter. Meanwhile the Orangemen are feeling let down by the British government and think its opens to any compromise with the Sinn Fein for maintaining social peace.
I found historical references used by both parties only by reading books. Young Northern Irish of the same generation as mine, Catholics as Protestants, didn’t know the Troubles, but get very concerned about those events and even reopen the conflict.
I noticed the difference between their life and mine, which led me to undertake this project, richer than a journalistic one.
When I first came in Belfast from September to October 2012, Loyalists celebrated the centennial of the Ulster Covenant. Besides the political tensions that used to appear during that kind of event, the town center appeared to me as a reflect of the economic hardship that affects the whole Northern Irish people, whatever their religion.
Nevertheless, the Troubles are rising up in the different neighborhoods: paintings on walls of Falls Roads celebrate IRA heroes, Union flags can be seen at the windows of Shankill Road, and even tattoos marking some young persons are references to an epoch they didn’t know.
Stephen’s early works were exhibited at the Tbilissi Photo Festival and his work on Syria at the VISA pour l’image Festival. In 2008 he decides to leave for Caracas and focuses on the daily life of Venezuela’s public hospitals. In 2011 he travels several times to Palestine. Later he decides to fly to Aleppo in Syria and follow the Rebels in their fight for freedom. He’ll return in 2012 after having covered the Egyptian presidential election. He then goes to Gaza in order to witness the destructions caused by the Pillar of Defense Operation launched by the Israeli Army on 14 November. In 2013 he flies to Mali before heading East on the Mauritanian border and to the Southwest of the country. In 2014 he’s covering the CAR conflict when France decides to initiate the Sangaris Operation and send troops. Continuing his work on the Syrian conflict he then goes to Lebanon to review the consequences of the nearby civil war from the refugee camps to the religious clashes of Tripoli’s districts.