Belfast, Northern Ireland
July 11 and 12 are particularly important to Northern Ireland because they contain two controversial holidays of religious and political consequence.

The first is Eleventh Night, on which Unionist Protestants ignite massive bonfires throughout the city for historical and very contemporary political reasons.

As many bonfires still burn, The Twelfth begins. On the holiday, members of the Orange Order, composed of Northern Ireland's Unionist Protestant population and other supporters, march throughout the city to celebrate a 17th century Protestant victory over Catholics. Among the traditional routes used are those which run adjacent to the city's Republican Catholic neighborhoods.

The marches are not well received in the Catholic communities, particularly given centuries of conflict and the more recent Troubles. While local organizations sponsor youth football tournaments and other events designed to provide alternatives to challenging the marches, riots often follow the parades. In 2010, youth engaged the police in the streets for nearly a week, although 2012 saw riots dissolve after a day.

This developing series focuses on those place-claiming events of Eleventh Night and The Twelfth, contextualizing them against a backdrop of the physical elements of Belfast that reflect the city's often starkly segregated landscape.

I've edited a small group of images from the 2010 images present in this set on my website. 2012 images will be added shortly.

Special thanks go to Brian Ashby, Ben Kolak and some extremely helpful Belfast residents.
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