An astonishing and visceral work that strikes clean to the often-dark but always-shining heart of Northern Ireland during its most troubled decades, this unique combination of words and images is a celebration of life, and a validation of two lives work. Billy O’Callaghan, author.
World-renowned photographer Bobbie Hanvey captured some of the Troubles’ most defining and devastating moments, in all their unflinching poignancy. Known as much for his iconic portraits of figures like Seamus Heaney, Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley as for his on-the-spot photographic reporting, Bobbie was constantly on the streets of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, photographing the aftermath of bombings, shootings and sectarian violence. His children grew up with intimate familiarity of these photographs, and of the violence that bred them.
In Reconstructions: The Troubles in Photographs and Words, these images take on even greater resonance when set in context by Bobbie’s son Steafán’s innovative and keenly honed prose-poetry, partly written in response to the photographs he grew up with. An astonishing and visceral work that strikes clean to the often-dark but always-shining heart of Northern Ireland during its most troubled decades, this unique combination of words and images is a celebration of life, and a validation of two lives work.
A related documentary, featuring actor Adrian Dunbar, is in production.
About the Authors
Bobbie Hanvey was born in Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh. Through photographing the aftermath of bombings and shootings in Northern Ireland, he became one of the country’s leading press and portrait photographers. In 1985, 1986, and 1987 he was Northern Ireland Provincial Press Photographer of the Year and in 1985 and 1987 he also won the Northern Ireland award for Best People Picture. His photographs have appeared in Vogue, The Village Voice, The Irish Times, The Economist, The Guardian, NPR, and more recently, The New Statesman. He has two published collections: Merely Players: Portraits from Northern Ireland (1999) and The Last Days of the R.U.C, First Days of the P.S.N.I. (2005).
Steafán Hanvey was born in Downpatrick, Co. Down and is an artist and musician. In addition to producing two albums, he has directed and toured a multi-media performance, Look Behind You! A Father and Son’s Impressions of The Troubles Through Photograph and Song, incorporating songs, spoken word and projections from his father’s collection. Steafán is currently producing a covers album of anti-war songs and is also working on his third studio album and his first feature-length documentary film.