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ZEKE Award: First Place

Youth of Belfast

Toby Binder | United Kingdom

Belfast, Shankill. Boy playing football in front of a Union Jack painted on the wall.

»If I had been born at the top of my street, behind the corrugated-iron border, I would have been British. Incredible to think. My whole idea of myself, the attachments made to a culture, heritage, religion, nationalism and politics are all an accident of birth. I was one street away from being born my ‘enemy’«. Paul McVeigh, Belfast-born writer and author of the novel ‘The Good Son’

Northern Ireland will have to leave the European Union due to UK’s Brexit referendum in 2016 although a majority of its citizens voted to remain. While the local Protestant Unionists voted to leave, the Catholic Nationalists wanted to remain within the EU.

The photo essay covers the situation of young people in six Catholic as well as Protestant neighbourhoods of Belfast. It shows that kids in Northern Ireland often suffer the same problems no matter if they live on one or the other side of the wall – unemployment, drug-abuse, violence and lack of perspectives are often omnipresent.

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