All posts tagged: horses

Philadelphia’s horsemen reclaim their heritage in Cian Oba-Smith’s shots

“It was also about reshaping that American icon: everyone thinks of the cowboy as this white American hero who has come to slay Native Americans. Actually the word cowboy is a racist term. It comes from when slave masters called all their slaves ‘boys’ and so the cow boy was the boy who looked after the cows and the horse boy was the boy who looked after the horses.” Cian Oba-Smith journeys to Philadelphia at a politically charged time during the 2016 U.S. election to meet with an infamous group of horsemen dealing with this ingrained racism on a daily basis.

2018-04-24T10:55:43+00:00

Unsentimental portraits of Ireland’s most notorious travelling communities

At best, images of Britain and Ireland’s travelling communities are romanticised; bow-topped caravans populated by gruff adults and grubby-faced children. At worst, travellers are characterised as crime-addicted, violent gangsters, living a law onto themselves, taking what they want without a moment’s thought for the rest of this Sceptered Isle. Northern Irish photographer Chris Barr, who earned his MA in photography from the University of Ulster, wanted more. He wanted to understand who these ancient, prideful, private communities are. And so he has spent the last ten years photographing travellers throughout Ireland as part of his ongoing series Katabasis.  The project began as an exploration of the horse within traveller culture. “The horse has long been at the heart of the travelling community”, says Barr. “I was interested in how travellers identified their horses. It’s a system handed down from father to son and sits outside the formal methods normally used to identify horses.” The project evolved into an exploration of gangsterism within the travelling community, focusing on the infamous Irish traveller Pa Rubber Óg O’Reilly. Barr recalls his …

2015-12-01T14:41:22+00:00

BJP Staff