Bobby Sands died on May 5, 1981 at 1 am and 17 minutes.
Bobby Sands is arrested and sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of firearms. On 1 March 1981 he began a hunger strike followed by nine other political prisoners members of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army).
Their demands: to obtain the status of political prisoners to which they are entitled. They will all die, the last in an almost general indifference.
These episodes that could evoke an “old story” unfortunately meets the closest news. Catalonia, today, claims its independence like other states and citizens of Europe, tired of seeing their identity diluted in “globalization”.
The conflict between Catholics and Protestants, those partisans of independence and those for upholding the crown recalls the past history of Britain and the current split between supporters and opponents of Brexit.
Northern Ireland, the poorest land in Europe that provided contingent of workers for the first British industrial revolution and the uprooted people who built America in the nineteenth century, is reminiscent of the migrant crisis that has become firmly established. in our societies.
One could also mention the North-South divide, poor Catholics of the South versus wealthy Protestants of the North, upside down this time around. Conclude with the immense respect inspired by these disinherited and rebellious people united in the sacrifice of their children to write through suffering this page of eternity.
At the time, Yan Morvan was a freelance photographer at Sipa press agency, one of the three major photographic press agencies in Paris in the 1980s. He had the profile of a young reporter, a daredevil that fits the situation of riots that reigned in Northern Ireland. He was then naturally sent to the Londonderry clashes in April 1981. He stayed there for three weeks and returned several times during the same year. “These weeks I lived in Derry and Belfast, living with the rioters in the Catholic neighborhoods, photographing the tension, desperation, faith and courage of the Irish, using the camera as a weapon for their cause, convinced me forever of the validity of the photographic testimony as an instrument of memory, emotion, reflection, pledges of a free and democratic world “. – Yan Morvan.
BOBBY SANDS by YAN MORVAN
Photographs: Yan Morvan
Texts: Bobby Sands, Yan Morvan and Sorj Chalandon
240 pages, format 24 x 30 cm
125 images in duotone – hardcover
language: French / English – ISBN: 979-10-92265-71-2
release date: september 6, 2018 – price: 44,50 €
Bobby Sands, Belfast 1981,
will be exhibited:
Photo Doc Gallery
Hotel de Retz
9 rue Charlot, Paris
from October 7 to 11, 2018.