Photographs of the Day – 12th photographs at Barnett Demense

18 views

Yesterday’s annual 12th Demonstration saw me head up to the field at Barnett Demense. Normally i would cover the warm up and gathering around Templemore Ave then the walk into the city centre. This year i decided to forgo this (and get a lie in) to head up to the point of destination at Barnett Demense. I had a vague notion to document the various banners and to look at the family nature of the gathering at the field and perhaps get a few portraits. I should perhaps explain that i grew up C of I so the parades and the like do not strike a chord of fear in me on first hearing as it would and does with some of my friends. In fact i quite like the spectacle of it all(reminding me as it does of innocent times).

Arriving approx 45 mins before the parade from the city centre, i stood at the entrance to Barnett Demense for 20 or so mins. I was surprised at the number of (unopened) carry outs being brought into the Council owned property.

It was obvious to me that quite a few of the younger followers were already the worse for wear through drink and would most certainly get drunker before they got soberer. Taking a quick walk around the field before the first  Lodges and bands arrived i saw a number of disparate groups of youths (10-20 in each), who were already tanked up and throwing abuse at anyone who didn’t conform to their dress standards and lack of sobriety. Ignoring the abuse but making a mental note to give the groups a wide berth later, i headed back to the entrance when i heard the first chords of music blaring out. This turned out to be a mini bus full of evangelists handing tracts out to hymns blasting out of their tannoy system.

The first lodge and band entered to cheers and claps as they walked up and as can be seen (in the first photograph above) a follower in a Spanish  football shirt gleefully walked alongside them slugging away from a can of green.

As the lodges and bands kept coming i did manage to get a few portraits and

shots of the banners……

As more and more Lodges and bands arrived it became harder to keep up with them all and my idea of getting photographs of as many of the banners as possible soon became nigh on impossible. It also became increasingly difficult to avoid the drunken youths (and their abuse) that were stumbling around with glazed eyes, a few of whom had UVF flags wrapped around their waists. Indeed a tv crew from down south(RTE?) were forced to move as they were pelted with pine cones by a group of around 20 or 30 youths.

Now setting aside the issue of drink being taken i was impressed with the organisation of some of the Lodges who in what seemed like no time at all, had bbq’s set up to provide the members with tea,sandwiches and burgers. There was a real feeling of comradeship amongst them. They were happy and proud to be out and about on this day. It’s a side of ‘Orangefest’ that should really be played up indeed the OO should play to their strengths as regards this.

It’s my view that  a zero tolerance attitude should be taken towards the consumption of alcohol at  the field (at the very least) which would go some way to placating the detractors of the annual demonstration.

I do think the Orange Order has a long way to go to gain confidence in the wider community and the irony of Temperance Lodges being led by bands that will retire to the beer tent (where i didn’t venture to) to fuel up for a couple of hours wasn’t lost on me nor should it be lost on you the reader or the leadership and advisors to the OO. My feeling is that drink is the major issue around the annual demonstrations particularly amongst the younger followers. That a Council owned property allows such open displays of drunkenness seems at odds with the so called inclusiveness of the days events(and stated council policy). It could also be argued that this adds fuels to the argument that the day is nothing more than a triumphalist display sending the message that the OO and it’s followers will do pretty much as they please.

I’ll finish with a photograph that i found (and still find) profoundly depressing. So much so, that combined with the vague threats bandied about meant that i left after only an hour and a half up at the field. If these two are the future i fear we have a very long way to go before Orangefest becomes something that we can all be proud of.

For the unitinitiated KAT = Kill All Taigs(Catholics)

FAP = F*ck All Paramilitaries or F*ck All Papists

, , , , , ,

  • RepublicanStones

    I’ll have to disagree with you there Munster me aul flower. I cannae make out whats on that other girl’s cheek and as such I think your projecting/assuming, and you know what happens when you assume.

  • Itsnevergonachange

    As i said Kai,myself and most right thinking decent catholics wouldnt have a problem with the outward journey,its the insistence that they have to walk back and not get bussed back.It will never change if the OO keep up their elitest attatude.Do you really think people would go to Ardoyne from other area’s if there was no parade coming back?Oh and

  • Itsnevergonachange

    As i said Kai,myself and most right thinking decent catholics wouldnt have a problem with the outward journey,its the insistence that they have to walk back and not get bussed back.It will never change if the OO keep up their elitest attatude.Do you really think people would go to Ardoyne from other area’s if there was no parade coming back?Oh and btw im not saying the rioters are right as far as im concerned they are both wrong and parents on both sides shoud be more aware what their children are up too and teach them right from wrong and not bigotry.

  • Itsnevergonachange

    Sorry i dont know how that happened.

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    Why would someone not just close this thread? All this pained, garbled exegesis is so meaningless and so marked by personal animus that it really is entirely worthless. All of you, you’re taking part in a bunfight in which advanced ‘whataboutery’ is merely the entry requirement. I have seldom seen such unsophisticated discussion of a cultural object, even amongst undergraduates – really, go and do an evening class in elementary media studies! MP’s photo shows one moment in time in one place in NI. What we see are two young girls with codified, but readily comprehensible sectarian slogans painted on their faces. The image is not an unmediated lens through which to view NI / the Twelfth / protestantism, but nor does MP claim it as such. It is a parallel construction of the real world, it is not in itself reality. It allows us to ruminate or meditate on some concerns relevant in NI now but it is only an image, and as such it is partial, in all senses of that word. I’ve not read a single intelligent evaluation of that image here – you’ve all been arguing about its veracity, its access to truth, about the perceived bias of the photographer – it has no privileged access to ‘truth’, it’s just a photograph – an undoctored photograph, but a still image separated from time and space and from other contexts so that we can focus intently on very specific things. It constructs its own contexts and reality. The photograph shows us something which is, in its way, ‘real’, but it is the starting point if a conversation, not the last word.

    Jeez. Stop shouting at the telly everyone and learn to look at visual images! Once again, well done MP on an arresting, jarring and unsettling image. I wish you were getting the critical conversation you deserve and not all this bullshit!

  • Munsterview

    I said ‘ what appears to be’, not that she had for a fact, as it is not clear from the photo as to what the marking is. Perhaps Moochin can recall?

  • RepublicanStones

    True Munster, although you prefixed your comment with ‘Two actually…’ which I read as a correction of my belief that only one picture reflects badly on the event.

  • http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com Paul Evans

    Daniel

    Spot on:

    “It is a parallel construction of the real world, it is not in itself reality. It allows us to ruminate or meditate on some concerns relevant in NI now but it is only an image, and as such it is partial, in all senses of that word.”

    The problem is the selective way that these things get relayed – when they become ‘viral’

    Mooch has provided a good author’s impression of a moment in time and place. Unfortunately, a lot of people will see that final picture, take it out of context and forward it by email / facebook etc and use it to reinforce whatever prepared position that they have already.

    The answer isn’t to stop doing it though. Instead, it suggests that NI needs more of this. It makes a lot of the sanitised rehearsed expositions of July in the MSM harder to sustain and that can only be a good thing.

  • andnowwhat

    What are you on about Munsterview.

    I alerted Moochin to the fact that someone on another site was assering that the photo was doctored and gave him the link where Moochin addressed the poster firmly.

    Now, as regards to what I said about my previous work in photography (not that it matters because Moochin wouldn’t be the type to pull a cheap shot like that) it was in SOPPORT of Moochin.

    I really can’t be arsed posting any more to explain to you Munsterview, a Michael said, you jumped the gun and twice at that.

  • http://twitter.com/belfastjj belfastjj

    I’m in the camp that doesnt NO what it stands for and you’re just presuming what it means ( where is your hard evidence what it means ? )

    “spurrious” to ask you will you be attending those events and taking pictures of kids drinking i don’t think so. But i’ll ask you again Mr Moochin are going to take pictures of drinkers at belsonic or food event at botanic gardens or the gay pride parade – Easy answer NO !!

    The picture of from 2008 & hold you stood up for yourself tells nothing – was the kid drinking had he any lettering on his face ?

    Lets face Mr Moochin your picture of the kids is all about sensationalist – well you got your odd 100 replies i hope your happy and if the kids in the picture are attack in the future WELL DONE YOU !!

  • RACLEMENTS

    Am I the only one finding it difficult to believe that Belfastjj doesn’t no(sic) what KAT stands for?

  • http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com Paul Evans

    BelfastJJ

    This is pure whataboutery. Moochin has offered a series of pictures and commentary that shows something you’d prefer he didn’t show. Response? Question his motives, ask is he going to take pictures of nationalists parading their bigotry as though he has some duty to provide absolute balance on everything he does.

    Slugger is a pluralist site. There are plenty of examples of reportage of thuggery and stupidity from all angles. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a conversation with an SF supporter about Slugger, but as far as some of them are concerned, the site is an anti-Republican plot.

    In reality, anyone who has anything of any quality to say / show can ask Mick for posting privileges, and Mick’s only bar is editorial quality.

    You could respond with a commentary on what his photographs show us acknowledging that there are features of all of NI’s communities that need addressing.

    But, I suppose playing the man and not the ball is easier, innit?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    I suppose the lovely folk (LOL) of the Ardoyne stole this years’ show.

    BTW just look how ugly yer man Nigel Dodds is. Looks like Brian Cowans’ twin….and both straight outta a 19th century Punch magazine fullfilling the stereotypical image of us Irish being a bit thick, violent and rather grotesque. Oh and thanks again to the folk up in the Ardoyne.

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    youth sexual activity

    A papist vexed about orange birthrates perhaps?

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    er, how exactly?

    Those two wee girls must be feeling pretty empowered if so mind you.

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    But for me, the people in Ardoyne and the organisers of such Orange demonstrations need to spend less time worrying about what other people say and do about them than to attend to what’s actually going wrong in their own back yards and find a way to fix it…

    Isn’t that the truth.

    On the subject of the media involvement in the republican riots. I seen no shortage of photographers side by side with rioters and police. I find it incomprehensible they do not have incriminating images of the scumbags from throughout the day. The BBC I think reported they themselves seen the policewoman get hit by the breezeblock the other night.

    Surely there is no shortage of evidence on tap here, or is this NI’s version of Raoul Moat blanket coverage with no regard for human life?

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    probably the most twee account of Northern Irish Protestantism/Unionism (I can’t make out which the commenter’s attempting to condescend more) I’ve read yet.

    But I don’t think anyone would expect any different given their projected socio-political location

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    thanks for that explanation MV that the troubles didn’t start yesterday. I now consider myself educated.

    But just exactly who has gone nuts this marching season? It wasn’t the Orange or their bands.

    Mick, how deep does the acceptance among certain republican communities run that their areas are allowed to be turned over like this on a regular basis? At what point do you force your child to stay indoors?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Daniel,
    I think you underestimate the crystallising power of the photograph. Look at this small selection of classics.

    The Depression
    http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/lm19.html

    Victory in Japan
    http://tokyo5.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/iwo-jima.jpg

    The reality of the Diem regime, and its coming demise
    http://iwilcope.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/burning-monk.jpg

    US public wakes up to what’s really going on in Vietnam
    http://www.yale.edu/yale300/democracy/may1text/images/Vietnamshooting.jpg

    US public unanswerably confronted with the evil of their attack on Vietnam.
    http://aikun.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/kim_phuc.jpg

    The true face of Chinese despotism, and the power of the individual in the face of evil.
    http://andreasferrella.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/tiananmen-square-tank.jpg

    The acceptable face of Northern Irish unionism, 2010.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23386031@N00/4786752982/

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    Ardoyne riots aside, I find MP’s portrayal of the Belfast 12th field an accurate one.

    Where he to have visited last year he would have been able to portray the ugly scene of 3 or 4 panicking peelers being chased out of it by a rabble of under aged drunken scumbags. The orange leadership turned the other cheek and presumably resumed the bible passage reading on top of the truck.

    It’s unfortunate though MP’s portrayal has been done on Slugger. It turns an impressively powerful pictorial immediately into a piece to draw battle lines over. That’s unfortunate and it lessens the impact such an article should have where it matters.

  • Skintown Lad

    Maybe, but I don’t think those battle lines are drawn in the same place as they are when there is a discussion about other aspects of NI politics. There is only a small minority of Protestants who find this acceptable. As a Protestant and Unionist I find the OO at their best arcane and at their worst facist. Many of the hangers-on are worse. Moochin’s photo captures the ugliest side of a section of people who call themselves Protestant and it sickens me as much as it sickens nationalists, with the embarassment of being labelled as one of them making it even worse. But what am I to do? Perhaps I should get down there, Fr Donegan style, and get told to f**k off. Any other ideas Munsterview?

  • http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com Paul Evans

    “It’s unfortunate though MP’s portrayal has been done on Slugger. It turns an impressively powerful pictorial immediately into a piece to draw battle lines over. That’s unfortunate and it lessens the impact such an article should have where it matters.”

    I’d argue that the way the pictures have been responded to here actually adds to the picture rather then takes away from it.

    The problem is less that teenage girls want hateful acronyms on their faces than the fact that the response to it is either an opportunistic bit of whataboutery from one side or a failure to take responsibility for bigotry that is made more permissible by the exercising of ‘ancient liberties.’

  • http://twitter.com/belfastjj belfastjj

    The only people who know what the letters mean are the Kids themselves !!

    Your right it is a series of pictures – but its about to trying to shame the OO ( i’m not a member ) and that is quite cleverly done by Mr Moochin at the end – interlinking the series of pics
    For the unitinitiated KAT = Kill All Taigs(Catholics)

    FAP = F*ck All Paramilitaries or F*ck All Papists

    As for your reply Paul Evans – i can ask whatever i like or question the content or why he took the pictures.

    Maybe you didn’t read what Mr Moochin stated

    “My feeling is that drink is the major issue around the annual demonstrations particularly amongst the younger followers. That a Council owned property allows such open displays of drunkenness seems at odds with the so called inclusiveness of the days events(and stated council policy). ”

    So that basis i’ll ask Mr Moochin again are going to take pictures of drinkers at belsonic or food event at botanic gardens or the gay pride parade – Easy answer NO !!

  • Brian

    Exactly. There is no comparison

  • Brian

    Young people in general don’t need much of an excuse to gather in large groups and get pissed. It was, as I remember, pretty fun.

  • lamhdearg

    I was up the country (garvagh) i never saw one person with a carry out open or closed or one person drunk, take yourself out of belfast and enjoy a real family day out.

  • http://moochinphotoman.tumblr.com/ Moochin Photoman

    belfast jj (John)

    If you bothered to read and understand the point i was making, Belsonic and Pride are licensed events which mean that people have permission to drink in a designated area.
    Yes there was a beer tent at Barnett Demense but it was not for the underage drinkers.
    You can keep asking me till you’re blue in the face(if you arn’t already) if i’m going to photograph drinkers there….. i might and i might not but if you have read and understood what i have written you’ll see that it remains a spurrious question.

  • Munsterview

    Skintown : I accept what you say, it is a rational exposition of the situation and the attitude that most my C of I friends and the majority of Southern Protestants would express. As far as I am personally concerned you have done more than the average person in your side of the political divide have done in response this situation, you have spoken out against it!.

    I would also think that a response such as yours was all any reasonable person on this side of the divide was looking for, just an acknowledgement that it was wrong for those young ladies to walk around with those acronyms on their faces, that it should not have been tolerated, much less accepted by the march organizers and stewards and finally the fact that it was, indicated a very ugly underbelly intrinsic to the celebrations.

    Most Northern Nationalists will draw a straight line between the tolerance shown for these Young Ladies walking around with ‘Kill All Taigs’ on their faces and the tolerance that allowed groups like the Shankhill Butchers to operate. I can well appreciate that viewpoint. To answer your query in detail lets take it point by point.

    “……Maybe, but I don’t think those battle lines are drawn in the same place as they are when there is a discussion about other aspects of NI politics…..”

    Correct, I take it here that most contributers in slugger are interested in reaching outside their own boxes and comfort zones to take on board other views. Despite having bluntly re-stated historical facts from time to time, my objective is to communicate, not alienate. Such discussions can only take place by normally avoiding certain areas and events well away from the base lines on both sides.

    However much we stretch that particular rubber band there is a twang ever so often and we are back at the baseline in all the stark reality that entails. This is one such event!

    “……There is only a small minority of Protestants who find this acceptable….”

    I have no difficulty in believing this statement. One of the problems arising however is that for every person accepting, there are far more who tolerate this sectarianism. It is this tolerance that allow these unacceptable attitudes to be part of popular culture. Opposing and disassociating from this culture is a positive step but the cancer needs to be confronted and exposed to the extent that it is no longer tolerated in a public display.

    It will never be fully eliminated but once reduced to this core level of support it will no longer be a matter of reproach to the Protestant Community generally as such attitudes are incompatible with Christianity of whatever domination and will be seen for what they are, naked, National Front type racism

    “……….As a Protestant and Unionist I find the OO at their best arcane and at their worst facist….”

    Again no argument there, this is also the view of the majority on the Catholic Nationalist side and most of the C of I and I would imagine the majority of other Protestant in this Island also.

    However I personally go along with this ‘Orangefest’ idea but only if the OO can be decommissioned of it’s perceived sectarianism and the parade are restricted to agreed routes and other aspects are added to broaden the cultural appeal, then it could in time become a genuine celebration of some aspects Protestant Culture. It also goes without saying that things like KAT are stamped out publicly and decisively

    At present I do not see too many indications of outreach from the OO to the wider nationalist community. If there was a genuine exploration of musical traditions for example, I could see Comhtals facilitating lectures at it’s branches with a concert afterwards or the GAA using it’s clubs house to facilitate talks on historical subjects in a neutral setting. If the OO in turn made their Halls available for the same purposes, what a change in attitudes could arise in just one year !

    “…….Many of the hangers-on are worse….”

    Again no problem there, irrespective of the cultural festival or event these types turn up. I know some who follow the car rally circuit, or more correctly the pub circuit on the route and spend the Rally in an alcoholic haze without ever going to see the rally per se. Same for Fla Ceols and other cultural events.

    However the questions that arise here : why were this element tolerated; could the OO stewards not see the photos circulating the globe of that ‘boozer’ in orange shirt tanking up as he walked along with the parade. Or could it be that this booze like the Kill All Catholics, is such an ingrained part of the fringe culture of these events, that it cannot be openly challenged ?

    “……Moochin’s photo captures the ugliest side of a section of people who call themselves Protestant and it sickens me as much as it sickens nationalists, with the embarrassment of being labelled as one of them making it even worse….”

    This speaks for itself!

    “….. But what am I to do? Perhaps I should get down there, Fr Donegan style, and get told to f**k off. Any other ideas Munsterview?…… ”

    You have already done the first decent and necessary thing by saying loud and clear….. ‘ not in my name, you do not speak for me, this is not Protestantism’

    Again I refer to Yeats and what he said to the Anglo-Irish and Protestants that they ‘were no petty people’! I will be dealing with this subject by way of a blog shortly but in the meanwhile what needs to be done is reclaim the Protestant Culture Heros absorbed into the Catholic / Nationalist tradition and see them for what they were and make them assessable to poplar Protestant culture.

    Protestantism can have a very positive and attractive face; the average Nationalist only get to see the OO or the UDA projection of it and not surprising, throw the baby out with the bath water

    The OO are something like 36,000 in all and I accept that they do not represent the Main Protestant Traditions on this island. However unless and until other Protestants speak out as you do, the OO is the public perception of your Protestant heritage projected to all on these Islands just as surely as those two girls are the public face and abiding image of this 12th, OO parade.

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    that is only valid if anyone is listening though.

    If MP did the same again in a year’s time what are the chances of a different response?

    Another thing that irks me more than this though – one of the most voluminous contributions of triumphalist “I told you so!” drivel emerging from these comments doesn’t actually live here.

    As if we need another nutcase peering in.

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    I agree, having experienced Belfast & non-Belfast Twelfths there is a clear anti-social problem unique to the capital’s parade.

  • http://openunionism.wordpress.com/ st etienne

    however, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the problem of paramilitary emblems still invades both.