Paul McVeigh recounts his personal experience growing up in Ardoyne, leaving for two decades and then returning to Belfast in the introduction of Toby Binder’s new book “Wee Muckers.” His introduction leads into Toby’s series of unflinching, black and white photographs taken in 2017 and 2018. The book’s press release states “Toby Binder’s photo series accompanies teenagers in six different Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods, proving an intimate and immediate insight into the daily lives of a whole generation. It depicts the ubiquity of unemployment, drug crime, and violence afflicting Belfast’s youth, whether they live on one side of the “Peace Wall” or the other.”
The teenagers gather on empty Belfast streets. Their faces seem old beyond their years. Toby’s photographs document the youth of Belfast in the aftermath of The Troubles that only a native son can do.