The magazine of the photo-essay
May 2017 back issue
Belfast Punk Warzone Centre 1997 - 2003
by Ricky Adam
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
I was born in Northern Ireland and first discovered photography at the age of 16 after I took a few photos with my friends dads camera. I grew up with photography in my blood but frustratingly never had the money to buy a camera of my own until I turned 19, as soon as this happened that was that, I was terminally hooked. I was attracted to the immediacy of photography, I was always good at art and painted a bit at school but personally I found the painting process too slow. I’ve always been a collector of things: records, books, magazines (of which I have a huge collection in boxes in my loft) & whatnot so taking photos is sort of an extension of this. The photos in ‘Belfast Punk' are some of the very first pictures I ever took. At the time I just snapped photos here and there without any real intention. I was more into drumming in bands really than taking photos, and in hindsight I wish I’d taken more. But in some respect I really like the naiveté that comes through in the pictures. Over the years I continued to take photos. ‘Punk’ inevitably means different things to different people. It’s a very difficult thing to define these days. Personally, I think punk (or whatever you want to call it) is more vital now than it has been in a long time. Between Trump, Brexit and
everything else that’s going rotten around the globe there’s a sour reek. Young people have a sense of empowerment and are resisting in a way we haven’t seen for a long time. It’s palpable, and they have good reason to be pissed off! Back when punk shed it’s gimmicky, commercial high street appeal bands such as Crass, Fugazi, Conflict, (to name but a few) gave punk a political outlook. Punk is so much more than kids with funny haircuts & studded jackets. It is direct action & it can make change happen. Belfast Punk (Warzone Centre 97’ - 2003) The Warzone Centre was a youth and community centre in the city of Belfast. It was an all ages venue that originally opened in 1986 with the help of Belfast's new centre for the unemployed and was run by punks. Over the years it became infamous as being one of the most credible venues in Europe for D.I.Y. punk.
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