Collaborative networking platform

To design collaborative networking platform for photography professionals and amateurs who reside in Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Formal and informal culture

It would aim to shift the identities of the residents and the archive from the political and religious aspects to positive shared everyday experiences of life in Belfast which are universal to human nature and the hidden beauty of the environment in which they live.

Therefore aiming to generate a more critically reflective language that will help bridge the divide between communities and increase awareness about shared background and lives of the residents of the city.

The foundation of this platform would be the Belfast Exposed archive constituting principles, thus Belfast Exposed will take curatorial responsibility.

Deliver platform for photographers to experience professional growth, which will therefore influence positively on the creative industries in the city, being an ever-growing collection about the city and its many aspects. Giving professional photographers more exposure, thus elevating both their image and image of the city.

On its own will be a visual collection of life in Belfast to which both professional and amateur photographers have contributed. Belfast City Museum.

Lack of community/resident involvement and exposure: takes engagement and outreach to the different level making community photography more visible by showing the results of their teachings and workshops.

Past Present Future

“Building on extensive networks of communities and artists, we hope to discover new ways of working based on common values, which join up the rich diversity of our interests.”

From Belfast Exposed website

“The capability or self-organised approach provides an alternative method of recording human development… it is about people’s capability to do and to be the things they themselves have reason to value….

It enables us to design projects as opportunities for people to build their capability thus helping people help themselves.”

by David Richmond. Our Museum. Paul Hamlyn Foundation website



Intermeshing local and international networks
Consolidate local and regional archives networks.
Discover possibility of sharing common archival software, saving costs and minimising efforts.
Major hub/ interface for photography in Northern Ireland.
Innovative for the government.

An important component is the development of a model structure for data management, archiving, and presentation that also allows smaller archives and other institutions to link up to it and process their own collections.




The Northern Ireland Community Archive

Project has been part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland and administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

/// no relational links to archives


Community Archiving Network Northern Ireland

The Project will give an opportunity for communities in Northern Ireland to present and raise awareness of their work at a local level and to share experiences, knowledge and connect with others within Northern Ireland and further afield. The term archiving, in this context, means a treasury of information embracing the past, present and the future.

We hope the outcome will be a community focused network of internet sites that will be a treasury of information about communities involved in learning, community development, local history, the arts, health and well-being, sports etc.

/// Provided platform and education for community archives´ websites/ obsolete





BBC Archive

Community Archives and Heritage Group

Archives and Records Association

Collections Trust – Collections Link

Collection Trust is an independent Charity with an international profile whose mission is to be the leading organisation in the management and use of collections and technology in museums, libraries and archives by 2015. Our success is built on nearly 40 years of experience working with the professional community, a commitment to excellence, and an unparalleled track-record of innovation.

Culture Grid

Its a unique online service from Collections Trust: joining and opening up UK collections for more use by more people in more ways.

Culture Grid fits with UK open data initiatives for the public and higher education sectors and funder strategies and programmes from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and others.

Contains collections information and makes this easily accessible through:  Mobile and Social Media applications e.g. Find a Library;   International services e.g. Europeana; Open Government services e.g.,Search engines e.g. Google; Broadcasters e.g. BBC, C4

Scroll down to read more about Culture Grid

Aggregated metadata*
Albert Museum Ardoyne Youth Club Art Institute of Chicago Arts Council Arts Council Ireland Arts Council Ireland Travel Arts Council NI Arts Council Northern Ireland Assembly Ballybeen Community Theatre Bath House BBC BBC Radio Ulster Belfast Carnival Belfast Charitable Trust Belfast City Council Belfast City Hall Belfast College of Technology Belfast Exposed Belfast Festival Belfast Interface Project Belfast Metropolitan College Belfast Photo Festival Belfast Telegraph Bridge Community Association Bridge Community Association/SWAN Training Bryson Intercultural Bryson Street Surgery BT Building Preservation Trust Castleton Church Children in Need Cities of Memory Coiste na nIarchimí Community Relations Council CRC Founding Creative Exchange Artist Studio Deaf Christian Fellowship Department for Social Development Department of Environment Department of Foreign Affairs Department of Social Development Department of the Environment Dewi Lewis Publishing DUP East Belfast Festival East Belfast Historical Society East Belfast Partnership EPIC Equality Commission European Centre for Photographic Research European Union FASA Forum for Action Feile an Phobail FOAM Gallery Folktown CIC Forum for Cities in Transition Gallery of Photography Gallery One Golden Thread Gallery Guildhall Press Hazelwood Integrated College Hearth Housing Association Heritage Lottery Fund Holywood Arches Library Housing Association IMPACT Training Inglis Biscuit Inglis’s Bakery Inner East Forum Integrated Education Fund Interaction Belfast Intercultural Cities Programme International Centre of Photography International Fund for Ireland International Rebecca West Society Island Arts Centre J Frazer & Sons Knocknagoney Station Libraries NI Living Places MAC Mac Airt Camera Club Maureen Paley Gallery Museum of Modern Art National Media Museum National Museums Northern Ireland NIEA Northern Ireland Assembly Northern Ireland Environment Agency Northern Ireland Foundation Parades Commission Paul Hamlyn Foundation Photographers' Gallery Planning Policy Division POBAL Police Service Portrait of a City PRIME collective Queen’s University

* Metadata aggregated from network feeds with the focus on East Belfast. Belfast Exposed, Culture NI, Northern Visions, Place, Mr Ulster, Prime Collective, Red Barn Gallery, Source Photographic Review. December 2010 – 2013


“Belfast Exposed”. Source Photographic Review

The origin of Belfast Exposed dates back to 1983 when a group of local photographers came up with the idea for an exhibition to which people from across Belfast were invited to bring their photographs, to provide an ‘amateurs insight into the varying images of Belfast’ (Brendan O’Reilly 1984)

The gallery space provided exhibition space both for local community groups and established photographers from within and outside of Belfast.

…Like similar groups the activities of Belfast Exposed are diverse, encapsulating a variety of emphases that reflect the personal interests of the people involved, the needs of the local communities with which they work and the practical restrains of financial prudence.


Article by Martin Bruhns from Source Photographic Review

…The initial idea, to provide an alternative and ‘amateur view’ of life in Belfast, was not merely an attempt to provide a forum for ‘ordinary’ people, whose access to means of visual expression would have been severely limited. 

The aim of Belfast Exposed was therefore twofold: on the one hand, it wanted to show the full extent of life taking place beyond the images provided by the mainstream media and on the other to document the Troubles themselves to a fuller extent…

Today Belfast Exposed’s object, the city itself, is no longer dominated by an exclusively bipartisan Troubles narrative. Finally the staffing of Belfast Exposed has changed allowing a reorientation of the organisation’s objectives and a reappraisal of its motives. The combination of these factors places a strong Belfast Exposed in the enviable position of being able to create an even more diverse stylistic and thematic portrait of Belfast and discover a future role for community photography in the city.

By Martin Bruhns. Issue 33,  2002. Read the full article here.

“Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography” review

Excerpts from The  Visual Artists Ireland Critique Supplement review on exhibition “Northern  Ireland: 30 Years of Photography” at  The MAC & Belfast Exposed, Belfast.

…As Karen Downey, the exhibition curator, is quick to point out in the accompanying brochure, it is better understood as a showing of “new art-documentary practices, more often produced for the gallery space and the photo-book than for press and media”. In fact, this specific focus offers much to facilitate re-readings of Northern Irish photography, which has suffered from limited classifications as a trope of photojournalism associated with ‘the troubles’ of fraught media imagery.

…The works at the MAC explore the cacophony of conflict and  trauma in a more muted, yet equally potent way. Here, a generation of photographers examines the attendant detrius as a kind of  ’material culture’ of war. Nearly all of the images on show are unpopulated by human beings;  the focus instead is on objects, places and spaces that have arisen because of the conflict.

…It’s images like these, given space and breadth in The MAC, that perfectly illustrate what Fionna Barber has called the  evolution of a particularly nuanced and reflective “conflict aesthetic” in Northern Irish art. Such images provide respite from the kind of  traumatic and sensationalist media images traditionally associated with conflict. That these hushed reflections can be as equally as disquieting as their more graphic predecessors owes much to the recognition that menace that can exist outside of the battle zone as well as within it.

Undeniably, the exhibition’s overall thrust is that conflict and the culture of conflict have proven dominant issues in art-documentary focused photographic practices associated with Northern Ireland.

…”Northern Irish photography, subconscious or otherwise, exists in a state of trauma
By Anne Mullee, Edition 12 July/August 2013 

Curated by the Crowd

Curated by the Crowd: collections, data, and platforms for participation in museums and other institutions

Hosted by metaLAB’s Jeffrey Schnapp, Matthew Battles and Pablo Barría Urenda. Curarium is a collection of collections, an “animated archive,” designed to serve as a model for crowd-sourcing annotation, curation, and augmentation of works within and beyond their respective collections.

BT Portrait of a City

Creating a digital legacy

BT Portrait of the City is a project that we are inviting every citizen to get involved in, as we draw upon the power of the image to reflect the changes over time that have shaped our city, to convey the social experiences of communities, to unlock memories and reveal the moments in our lives that define who we.

Thousands of such images exist in family albums, in the archives of newspapers, libraries, museums and television companies, and in the personal collections of the amateur photographers and home movie-makers who have recorded the intimate lives of their communities over many decades. Behind every image is a story waiting to be told.

BT Portrait of a City aims to bring these images together into a single online platform that will act as a digital memory bank for the entire city.

We want every community and individual to be part of this memory bank – to leave a unique footprint that will be seen for generations to come. BT Portrait of a City will support communities to take an active role in recording their own histories, creating their own films, photographic exhibitions, e-books and apps that can be shared by everyone in the city and beyond.

This is a journey into the future as well as the past. Along the way there are new skills to be learned, new technologies to be acquired and a new generation to be inspired by the rich history all around them. Although we are only at the beginning of this journey, we are already grateful to the many organisations and individuals who have agreed to share their archives and personal collections and to work in partnership with us to tell the story of this city in all its myriad shades.

The online digital archive will leave an invaluable legacy for future generations.


BT Portrait of a City wins prestigious DANI award
One of the flagship projects in the UK City of Culture year, BT Portrait of a City, has won a prestigious DANI award. The project was voted Digital Culture Project of the Year at the 2103 Digital Advertising NI awards at a special ceremony in Derry-Londonderry.

“Connecting communities is at the heart of everything we do and that’s what made BT Portrait of a City a natural project for us, as principal partner, to get behind. The whole community can be proud of what they have achieved this year and this award is recognition of the worth and importance of the project to the city as a whole.”

Peter Morris, Director of Corporate Services, BT

Culture Grid

Culture Grid is a unique online service from Collections Trust: joining and opening up UK collections for more use by more people in more ways.

Culture Grid fits with UK open data initiatives for the public and higher education sectors and funder strategies and programmes from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and others.

Contains collections information and makes this easily accessible through:  Mobile and Social Media applications e.g. Find a Library;   International services e.g. Europeana; Open Government services e.g.,Search engines e.g. Google; Broadcasters e.g. BBC, C4

Archiving approaches



Fish Nets