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Northern Ireland, Religion, Children, Youth
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The development of two teenage boys, one Catholic and one Protestant, growing up in Northern Ireland.
Jay Talbott

1992 — student award of excellence

Peace is the absence of ignorance. Misunderstanding comes from incomplete communication.  It follows that this weakness is a result of not knowing. To promote world peace it is essential for people to communicate better. One strong channel of communication is through photography.  The exchange of information will help people and groups not at peace understand more fully the motivations for the other person or group's actions. Photojournalism can aide in this process but the change is most dependent on the change of the individuals awareness levels.

The strong communication of previous photographers including Jacob Riis, Lewis Hines, W. Eugene Smith, and Eugene Richards comes from conveying the message through picture stories. These stories, including: Hines’ child labor situation, Riis’ tenement slums enlightening Smith’s nurse midwife demand and Richard’s portrayal of the emergency room, all improved cultural understanding and peace within the community through awareness.

The stress of the Newhouse School of Public Communication’s Photography program is improving the level of information in the photographic medium. Hopefully my goal at Syracuse in studying for a graduate degree and afterwards as a photojournalist, will be to convey stories as strong as the above photographers. Their footsteps are enormous but I hope to follow one step at a time.

This call for increased public awareness prompted me to leave a stable career and process into a challenging profession. I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life so I am going for it. Alexia would have gone for it too!

We used to wonder where war lived. What it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives; that it is inside ourselves.

Albert Camus shows us that we all must face the war that lives within us. To do this is difficult, for no one wants to believe that they are capable of evil. The evil moments still exist inside of ourselves especially when they are expressed toward others. Peace also exists between people and it can sometimes exist in the middle of an evil situation.

The Alexia Foundation For World Peace would enable me study of one of the longest running examples of evil between the Irish Republican Army and the Protestants in England. This opportunity will benefit cultural understanding, harmony, and consequently world peace by showing how individuals are working to promote peace during the conflict.

By showing how these individuals work in the quest for peace, it would promote more people to assist them.

Also terrorism comes from both sides of the conflict. The pictures will illustrate the individuals on both sides who are working for war. Evil will be shown not to promote others to join in the conflict but instead to illustrate the extreme waste of life.

This is an ambitious project but it has to be done.

Read more
Fire Hill: Michael and his mates roll and carry discarded tires up a hill above Newry to build a Halloween bonfire.

The development of two teenage boys, one Catholic and one Protestant, growing up in Northern Ireland. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Walk Home: Robert Leatham walks past a desolate building in E. Belfast on the way home from school. He is with classmate Kim Dobbin. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Playground Message: Michael reaches for a football as he plays the goalie. the slogan, some in traditional Gaelic, support the IRA. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Possible Recruit: Robert Leatham standing in front of a paramilitary wall mural is in jeopardy of being forced into the UVF or RUC. His mother Jean is aware that, "There's a couple of fellows on this street I won't let him (Robert) get involved in. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Design Tech: Design Tech classroom at St. Mark's, has Michael and Collin McGivern work on projects for Michael's favorite class, mechanical design and woodworking. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Robert laughs with his teacher in a classroom. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Watching Baywatch on Tele: Michael O'Hagan watches the hit Baywatch show with his mother and sister. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Glued To The Tele: Robert Leatham visists his girlfriend Catherine to watch the tele. The two have been dating for several months. For Christmas Robert gave her a token which with his half forms a heart charm. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
School Lunch: Colin Cahill drinks o.j., Paul McCormick, Michael O'Hagan, Coner O'Reilly and Donal Mullholland, enjoy lunch outside of St. Mark's near Newry. Michael said, "We had to eat outside because it was a good day." Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation
Michael and his brother James walk to the market past a normal patrol in their neighborhood. Jay Talbott/Alexia Foundation