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Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Photographer
Mariusz Smiejek
Not Surrendering
Gomma Photography Grant 2023 Winners

Gomma Photography Grant 2023

Not Surrendering

Photographer

Mariusz Smiejek

Not Surrendering

22 Feb, 2024

Mariusz condenses the various and profound consequences from the Northern Irish conflict inflicts on the working class in this black and white documentary work. He shows in raw and unadorned images, the magnitude and gravity this hardship has on the people, the next generation, the way of thinking and self-identity. Anger, a Lust for life and inherited frustrations unfold in many ways, from para-military outrage to a right to youth and happiness. These photographs capture a whole group of people’s way of dealing with the consequences of being trapped and defined by this conflict, by despair, revenge, disillusion, and identity – all linked to the past and drawn to the future, leaving a working class in shatters and a new generation having to climb on the gravel to build a future.

Words by Gomma (Laura Estelle Barmwoldt)


Artist statement: Not Surrendering brings us closer to an almost completely unknown social group of Loyalists marginalised by British politicians, the royal family, and mainstream media for various reasons. Series of portraits introduces us to the daily lives of the local British working-class as well as members of its illegal paramilitary groups. Recognised as terrorist organizations until recently, these associations still carry weight, sow fear, and control Northern Ireland’s Ulster. By focusing on the spaces which the Loyalists inhabiting, aspects of their daily lives, and the particularities of their neighbourhoods separated by ominous ‘peace walls,’ those photographs brings us to the fore the psychological state of siege which permeates working-class districts in Northern Ireland. The portraits also spotlights the atmosphere of despair which accompanies each successive generation – trapped socially and mentally in unprocessed traumas from which it cannot escape. Series of portraits from my photo book 'Not Surrendering' about post conflict Northern Ireland, photographed between 2010 -2020 and published in 2023.

About the photographer

Mariusz Smiejek

Not Surrendering brings us closer to an almost completely unknown social group of Loyalists marginalised by British politicians, the royal family, and mainstream media for various reasons. Series of portraits introduces us to the daily lives of the local British working-class as well as members of its illegal paramilitary groups. Recognised as terrorist organizations until recently, these associations still carry weight, sow fear, and control Northern Ireland’s Ulster. By focusing on the spaces which the Loyalists inhabiting, aspects of their daily lives, and the particularities of their neighbourhoods separated by ominous ‘peace walls,’ those photographs brings us to the fore the psychological state of siege which permeates working-class districts in Northern Ireland. The portraits also spotlights the atmosphere of despair which accompanies each successive generation – trapped socially and mentally in unprocessed traumas from which it cannot escape. Series of portraits from my photo book 'Not Surrendering' about post conflict Northern Ireland, photographed between 2010 -2020 and published in 2023.