Arts

Belfast peace walls the focus of photographer Frankie Quinn's Cordon Sanitaire

Peacelines II, Glenbryn, north Belfast. Picture by Frankie Quinn

BELFAST Exposed is hosting an exhibition by Belfast photographer Frankie Quinn which explores the impact of the city's so-called peace lines 50 years after they were erected.

Entitled Cordon Sanitaire, the show looks at how communities have grown up in the shadow of Belfast's unique dividing walls and interface installations – the first of which was put up in September 1969, separating the Shankill and Falls areas – and how they have been a backdrop to the lives of so many people in the intervening half century.

"Painted, galvanised, graffitied, bricks, steel, wood and plaster are all captured in the exhibition, which documents years of separation as a result of these structures, some of which run down back alleys, along main roads and through parks and streets," Belfast Exposed say.

Frankie Quinn

Independent freelance photographer Quinn, whose work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and books, was born in Short Strand/Ballymacarrett, where he still lives, in 1966. He began taking photographs in 1982, documenting his community, including its role in the conflict. He holds an MFA in photography from Ulster University and is director of the Belfast Archive Project.

A accompanying exhibition, called Peace Lines, is a community focused response by young people from Dunmurry, Twinbrook, Finaghy and Poleglass which explores the historical nature of the peace walls and reflects on their own experiences.

Belfast Exposed is also hosting ‘Peace Walls 50 Years On’, a seminar which will explore the impact and future of the peace walls and interfaces, whose panel includes Peter Osbourne (Community Relations Council), Paul Mullan (National Lottery Heritage Fund), Vicky Cosstick (author of Towards a City Without Walls), Ciaran Mackel (architect) and Professor Donovan Wylie (photography dept, Ulster University).

:: Cordon Sanitaire, by Frankie Quinn, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is at the Belfast Exposed photographic gallery, Donegall Street, from September 6 until October 5. Peace Walls 50 Years On takes place in Belfast Exposed on September 10 at 12:30pm. See belfastexposed.org for details.

Frankie Quinn

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