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Dublin Update

December 8, 2008

A while back I posted a photo of a burned out car that suddenly appeared on the street I was staying on in Dublin back in September. I had taken a photo of a street painting before I drove up to Belfast for a few days, and when I got back, the scorched car was in front of it – sort of completing the heartbreaking image.




Well, I knew that “The Troubles” weren’t really a Dublin thing, so this has sort of puzzled me. Then I got the newest issue of The Fader and opened up to an amazing and disturbing several page photo spread by a photographer named Ross McDonnell. He documents the antics and lifestyles of some residents of a neglected wasteland of  welfare towers called  Ballymun – near the Dublin airport.

What he portrays seems like a mix of Trainspotting, Mad Max, and hooligan culture. It seems that a favorite past time of the young and old alike involves stealing either cars or motorcycles, joy riding them, and then pouring gasoline on said vehicle and watching it burn.

Click photo to see the rest of his provocative black and white work.

Click photo to see the rest of his provocative black and white work.

Unfortunately, the spread is only available in the print edition of The Fader, but it just came out and is on bookshelves (Kanye is on one cover, No Age on the other). The good news is that you can click on the above photo or here to see more of his intense black and white work.

UPDATE: Check out the grant McDonnell is trying to get, and what he would do with it:

What I would do with £5000: The Project Assistance Award would help this project to reach its fullest potential by creating an in-depth cultural study of the Turkana people, their fast disappearing tribal lifestyles and the problems associated with climate change. By continuing this series I hope to photographically illustrate several themes, the most important of which is rural-urban migration. I would live both with the marginalised nomads, moving with them as they migrate seeking pasture, and also with a family in the main Turkana town of Lodwar, where unemployment is over 70% and social problems such as alcoholism, HIV/AIDS and homelessness abound. This will illustrate the dwindling traditions and cultural heritage of these tribal communities. I will also focus much of my work on the reliability of affordable food supplies, given its increasing importance in global politics and its link with climate politics. I want to highlight how such macro issues affect real communities at the local level.

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