All posts tagged: University of Ulster

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

The traditions, biases and ranks inside modern British military spaces

Over 2014, Ross Young photographed the military barracks near his home in Belfast. Driving to work in the morning, the 25-year-old would pass the barracks, seeing scattered buildings beyond barbed-wire walls. “I became really fascinated by the modern military,” he says. “What they do, how they have changed, who they are, what they stand for now.”     The nephew of a lieutenant colonel, he gained access to the barracks and photographed everything: portraits of the soldiers, the buildings, beds, dorms, gyms and churches. But it was the communal eating areas that held his gaze. “Everything is split by rank. The junior rank, middle rank and officers each have their own spaces, and each one is visibly different,” he says. “They had such an impactful personality. They revealed so much to me about life in the Army. It shows the difference in the ranks; what soldiers have to go through to work their way up.”     He was born in Killyleagh, a suburban area to the south of Belfast, and now lives in the …

2015-11-26T17:57:11+00:00

BJP Staff