Northern Ireland left the European Union due to UK’s Brexit referendum in 2016 although a majority of its citizens voted to remain. While the local Protestant Unionists voted to leave, the Catholic Irish Nationalists wanted to remain in the EU.
After more than 30 years of bloody conflict during the so called “Troubles” a fundamental condition of the 1998 Peace Agreement is the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This frontier has become an external border of the European Union after Brexit again. There is a serious concern that such a hard border is very likely to undermine and threaten the Peace Process in the country. Especially future prospects of the young generation could be impacted negatively if old conflicts recur again.
This photo essay shows that kids in Northern Ireland often suffer the same problems no matter if they live in Protestant or Catholic neighbourhoods. Especially young people want to overcome the old patterns and live a life as they know it from other parts of Europe today. But they still live in place where violence, distrust and lack of perspectives is omnipresent.

Photo copyright: © Toby Binder.

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Toby Binder is a German photographer based between Argentina and Germany. He works both on assignments and personal series and he is mostly interested in topics of post-war and crisis situations as well as in the daily life of people. Toby often focuses on working-class life by developing long-form documentary projects.
His work has been awarded internationally with a Gomma Grant by LensCulture and Life Framer in 2020, the Felix-Schoeller-Award in 2019, Philip-Jones-Griffiths-Award in 2018, the Sony-World-Photo-Awards in 2019 and 2017 and the Nannen-Preis in 2017. The same year he received an Honorable Mention by UNICEF Photo of the Year.
His work is published by Stern, Zeit Magazin, The Guardian, Le Monde, Washington Post, Greenpeace Magazin, Amnesty Journal, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and others.
In March 2019 his first photo book Wee Muckers–Youth of Belfast was published by Kehrer.

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