Thursday, 31 July 2008

Monday, 28 July 2008

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Saturday, 19 July 2008



IRA soldiers. Northern Ireland, 1985

What about when you go to photograph people like the IRA paramilitaries in Belfast in the 80s?

Just be careful.

Kind of an understatement.

These were dangerous people, but I wasn’t frightened of them. I was more worried about the British.

You mean what might have happened at the hands of Brit soldiers while you were with the IRA members?

That’s right. Because they told me, when I was on maneuvers with the IRA, that if we were caught, it’s an execution. They shoot you there—they don’t bother to bring you in. One night, a British patrol was nearby and we had to lie in the mud.

A lot of the resulting photos appeared in Life magazine. I love the picture of the IRA soldiers holding a gun to the head of the man in the Prince Charles mask.

I had the CIA and the British calling me up after the assignment was done, asking me to chat with them. I said, “You must think I’m off my head! You think I’m going to talk to you about the IRA?” For one, I would not be on the IRA Christmas list after that, if you know what I mean. And it was interesting getting to know them, because it made me realize that you couldn’t tell who was IRA and who wasn’t. It could have been anybody.

IRA bomb maker. Belfast, 1985
It’s fascinating, that photo of yours of the IRA bomb maker at work. It was just a typical house in Belfast with no more camouflage than drawn shades in the windows.
Right in the heart of Belfast. And it was a real bomb. You could smell it. In fact, you started to smell it about 20 yards away. An acrid smell. I wondered about that. The British patrols were always nearby, and if I could smell it, what could a dog do with it?
Were you friendly with the IRA members while you were shooting them?
Sure. They would take off their masks and drink tea. We would be in their hideouts and they would make bacon and eggs. I enjoyed it.
But it was a brutal time, the Troubles.Brutal, yes. Terrible.
I think 9/11 had a lot to do with really ending it all. It was no longer chic to be a terrorist, especially in the West. Also, they stopped getting support from Boston.

nothings static