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Forever Young 

“Ballykinler or Ballykinlar is a village and civil parish in County Down,

Northern Ireland. It is a linear settlement, running parallel to the Irish Sea coast and bordered by an army camp to the west and southwest.”

After learning that the army base was being decommissioned, the camp that had provided a livelihood for most of the residents is now due to the close and most of its community are now being displaced.

In an attempt to hold together a sense community a the local pensioners started the “forever young” group, and still meet up for their weekly game of bingo and cup of tea. During these few short visits, we documented the members and the village where there was a unique mix of the civilian and the military. How the physical structures and the landscape of the picturesque mourn mountains met and juxtaposed each other fascinated me. Although the evidence of life was still present, I could see where the sense of community was already starting to fade. Within the political context of Northern Ireland, some might see the decommissioning of the base as a step in the right direction, but we can’t forget about the individual lives and communities that have been shaped and become dependent on the social and economic structures in which this or any community needs to survive.

Belfast exposed photography was Commissioned by Ps Squared Gallery to provide photographic project within Ballykinler Ballykinlar village, me and fellow photographer Lucy Rehill produced images to fulfil this project.

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