Strife and alienation

“The civil rights movement had ushered the North in the ‘70s. We’d modelled ourselves a lot on the US, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, saw ourselves as part of something huge happening everywhere. The thought has liberated us already from the restraints of our own history. Part of the world, ma. You could see it in the jaunty gait and Hendrix T-shirts of a chorus of cat-callers confronting baffled soldiers, sense it in nonchalant children who reckoned every battlefield a playground for boundless adventure”. Eamonn McCann – Magnum Ireland

Philip visited Northern Ireland from the mid sixties onwards and documented the impact of the troubles on the daily lives of the people, in yet another scenario where an imperialist force imposes its military might onto people’s front doorsteps.

“The conflict in Northern Ireland has provided a revealing study of the way the British State deals with an urban uprising. It is an unsavoury little war that seems to have more to do with providing basic training in counterinsurgency techniques for the British Army than keeping the peace”

Philip Jones Griffiths

“As an Irish poet put it, “The tragedy of Northern Ireland is that it is now a society in which the dead console the living”. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, with mindless verve, ran an advertisement: “For generations, a wide range of shooting in Northern Ireland has provided all sections of the population with a pastime”

Philip Jones Griffiths