Thirty-five years ago, a selection of Belfast photographers founded a group to “challenge the media representation of the city’s experience of conflict”, creating an exhibition of amateur photography reflecting the experience of Belfast from the inside. The exhibition was called ‘Belfast Exposed’, and set out to articulate the life of the city from predominantly working-class perspectives.
Belfast Exposed is one of the major providers of professional photography training in Northern Ireland. Courses are offered from basic grounding in digital image taking through to the production of Photobooks and Exhibitions for early career artists. Courses cover all skills levels and offer something for everyone. They are open to individuals, schools and to businesses. It offers one of the most extensive range of photobooks, with both rare and popular works for sale or order in the Contemporary Gallery.
After opening on 17 October 1983 in Conway Mill on the Falls Road, the exhibition toured to Dublin the following year and was opened at the Bank of Ireland Gallery in Baggot Street by Seamus Heaney, who commented on the “powerful, democratic feel running through these photographs” which documented a range of common experiences such as unemployment, poor housing and economic deprivation.
Now working to make the community experience of conflict more relevant and accessible for a new generation of audience and photographers, Belfast Exposed recently celebrated its 35-year anniversary with an exhibition providing insight into “political, cultural and social change in Belfast and beyond since 1983”. agendaNi displays a selection of the images used to mark the event.