Conflicting Images @UlsterMuseum
by Allan LEONARD @NorthernSlant
26 July 2017
As part of its Collecting the Troubles and Beyond initiative, the Ulster Museum currently has an exhibition called Conflicting Images: Photography during the Northern Irish Troubles.
In a loose chronology there are 140 images from a variety of photographers.
International photojournalists arrived with increased disturbances. While they may have been new to Northern Ireland, these images are probably most familiar to the gallery viewer, as these are what so many saw in newspapers and television reportage.
But even here it is interesting to see the work of Christine Spengler, acclaimed as one of the first female photojournalists to cover international conflict.
More fascinating is to inspect the clandestine images taken by Loyalists inside prisons, where cameras were forbidden.
On the other side of the wire, there are three images of British Army soldiers on a Belfast tour of duty — these were published in a (military) souvenir booklet.
The work of Bill Kirk features and has a more humanist element, showing ordinary people trying to go about their daily lives in extraordinary circumstances — walking through pedestrian security gates, getting milk during the Ulster Workers Council strike.
Two prints from a more famous French photographer, Gilles Peress, shows occupants of a car at Milltown Cemetery and children at an Army mobile checkpoint.
There is a good mixture of documentary photography on display. The overall effect is to provide an interesting insight to the troubled situation at particular moments of time, from the lenses of various perspectives, near and far.
Conflicting Images exhibition is on display from 26 May – 19 November 2017. Admission free.