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Merrion Press

Reconstructions: The Troubles in Photographs and Words by Steafán Hanvey and Bobbie Hanvey

Reconstructions: The Troubles in Photographs and Words by Steafán Hanvey and Bobbie Hanvey

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World-renowned Northern Irish photographer, Bobbie Hanvey, captured some of The Troubles’ most defining and devastating moments. Bobbie is lauded as much for these photographs as he is for his iconic portraits of figures like Seamus Heaney, Gerry Adams, Brian Friel, and Ian Paisley.

In Reconstructions, these photographs take on even greater resonance when set in context by Bobbie’s eldest son, singer-songwriter and poet, Steafán Hanvey. Inspired by the photographs, he often witnessed coming to life in the darkroom, Steafán’s memories of a childhood less ordinary are presented in a lyric poetry filled with startling imagery and insights that capture the wit, cadences, anguish, and dreams of the people of Northern Ireland.

Reconstructions daringly conflates the public and the private, and acts as a timely reminder of just how futile and unnecessary internecine conflict really is. But most of all, Bobbie and Steafán, father and son, have produced a book that is a testament to the strength and resilience of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.

Steafán Hanvey was born in Downpatrick, Co. Down and is an artist and musician. In addition to producing two albums, he has directed and toured a multi-media performance, Look Behind You! A Father and Son’s Impressions of The Troubles Through Photograph and Song, incorporating songs, spoken word and projections from his father’s collection. Steafán is currently producing a covers album of anti-war songs, a documentary film, and is also working on his third studio album.

Bobbie Hanvey was born in Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh. Through photographing the aftermath of bombings and shootings in Northern Ireland, he became one of the country’s leading press and portrait photographers. In 1985, 1986, and 1987 he was Northern Ireland Provincial Press Photographer of the Year and in 1985 and 1987 he also won the Northern Ireland award for Best People Picture. His photographs have appeared in Vogue, The Village Voice, The Irish Times, The Economist, The Guardian, NPR, and more recently, The New Statesman.He has two published collections: Merely Players: Portraits from Northern Ireland (1999) and The Last Days of the R.U.C, First Days of the P.S.N.I. (2005).

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