Northern Ireland news

Diversity of Belfast captured in groundbreaking worldwide 24-hour photography project

'It's good night from me and it's good night from him': Photographer Mal McCann's final picture for the 24-hour project was taken at 11:20pm outside Muriel's bar in Belfast.
Seanín Graham

SKATEBOARDERS, sunrise yoga, tourists and a Krishna Temple are among the vibrant images of Belfast captured over 24 hours by an Irish News photographer in a groundbreaking worldwide project.

Mal McCann, who was the city's ambassador, took pictures every hour from midnight on Friday as part of the real-time initiative to document humanity and raise awareness about children's rights.

This is the first time Belfast has featured in the 24Hourproject involving more than 900 countries and 4,000 participants, who posted their images online.

For the award-winning photographer - who took all his pictures on an iPhone - it was an opportunity to showcase the diversity of the city post-conflict.

When tiredness hit in the early hours of Saturday morning, he partnered with the Dublin participant, Tim Bingham, who travelled up north and stayed until 7am.


A post shared by Mal McCann (@malmccann)

"There were a couple of hours when your energy levels dip but you keep going," Mr McCann said.

"It was really a day in the life of Belfast and shone a light on how rich it is. It was good to get a mix of different cultures and show off the city - as it's still underrated by some people.


A post shared by Mal McCann (@malmccann)

"I worked with the Indian community recently and they allowed me to photograph the Krishna Temple in Dunmurry... the skateboarders were also interesting.

"Most of the people we stopped to ask to photograph were tourists from the south, from Kerry to Tipperary.

"You could also do it in your home as some people are self-isolating. Some of the countries taking part are in lockdown."

5:59am Sunrise yoga. Picture by Mal McCann

The Dublin ambassador said this was his fourth year taking part in the project - and that his red-eye stint in Belfast joining Mr McCann was a memorable one.

"I found Belfast to be bustling with tourists. One aspect l really enjoy is meeting up with other photographers. As you need to post a photo every hour, you are capturing all forms of humanity," Mr Bingham said.


A post shared by Mal McCann (@malmccann)

Now in its overall ninth year, the 2021 project is supporting the Responsible Charity, a group based in Kolkata in India which helps give underprivileged children access to better education.

The global collaboration will go on display.


A post shared by Mal McCann (@malmccann)

2:05am Closing time. Picture by Mal McCann

Irish News photographer Mal McCann on the 24HrProject in Belfast, the largest photography event documenting humanity worldwide for a single day supporting Childrens' Rights

Belfast's Krishna Temple in Dunmurry. Picture by Mal McCann

 Tim Bingham 

A group of early morning skateboarders were captured for the project. Picture by Mal McCann

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