Photo editor

Belfast, Shankill. Boy plays football in front of a Union Jack painted on the wall. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Clonard. Teenagers gather around a fire at the local water reservoir on Springfield Road. (Toby Binder)

Toby Binder has been photographing the life of teenagers in Britain for more than 10 years. Having worked in England and Scotland, he focused his lens on Belfast because of the Brexit referendum. Northern Ireland would be forced to leave the European Union despite the majority of its citizens voting to remain.

“There is a serious concern that Brexit will threaten the Peace Agreement of 1998 that ended the violence between Protestant Unionists and Catholic Nationalists who live in homogeneous neighborhoods that are divided by walls still today,” Binder said in an interview with In Sight.

He noted that those who could be most affected by a resurgence in violence would be the youth, who were too young to vote in the referendum. His new book, “Wee Muckers,” is an attempt to show that the similarities outweigh the differences between youth in traditionally Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in Belfast, from wearing the same style of clothes to grappling with the same social issues.

Binder cites Paul McVeigh, the author and Belfast native who wrote the introduction to “Wee Muckers,” as describing this sentiment best:

“It made me realize that poverty, political strife and living in fear was what we had in common. And the Troubles has become this hugely enveloping, shared experience that binds those generations as much as it divides. I realized I had more in common with poor Belfast Protestants who had experienced the Troubles than Catholics who held the same passport as me in South of Ireland.”


Belfast, Clonard. View from Clonard monastery toward the Peace Wall and Protestant Shankill neighborhood. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Village. Boys’ Flute Band during marching season on Rydalmere Street. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Clonard. Ben. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Clonard. The Clonard shop on Springfield Road is a popular hangout for kids from the neighborhood. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Shankill. Young boy and men at a Protestant parade on Crumlin Road. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Sandy Row. Teens drinking and arguing. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Carrick Hill. Phoebe with her dog passing police forces on Regent Street. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Carrick Hill. Brendan behind a police line on Trinity Street. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Shankill. Megan and Joshua. (Toby Binder)

Belfast, Shankill. Boy turning away from garbage set on fire on wasteland at Caledon Street. (Toby Binder)

In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.

More on In Sight: