In Between Walls and Peace
What does conflict look like 50 years after it starts? How are generations of a community transformed by the physicality of walls, especially those intended to bring peace, but instead – in the case of Northern Ireland – both trigger and reinforce the Troubles? How do classifications of victim vs. perpetrator evolve as conflict advances, and how are boundaries of identity metaphorically internalized and expressed in walled cities?
Magnum photographer Moises Saman was commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography to travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he documented the Peace Walls – or Peace Lines – and explored the nuances of life in a place where a wall and its conflict have been normalized. In this conversation, the acclaimed conflict photographer and Magnum’s cultural director Pauline Vermare will discuss Saman’s new body of work. They will explore the gray area that communities and individuals face as they are confronted with longstanding physical walls, and the social, economic, and cultural repercussions these walls have on the self. Drawing parallels between this series and Saman’s previous projects, they will reflect on the notions of identity and place in times of conflict.
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Pauline Vermare is a photography curator and the cultural director at Magnum Photos, New York. Before joining Magnum, she was a curator at the International Center of Photography (ICP), where she worked on several exhibitions drawn from the Robert Capa Archive, including The Mexican Suitcase. Before joining ICP, Vermare worked at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on the exhibition Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century. From 2002 to 2009, she worked at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris. She holds a Master’s degree in the History of Photography from the Sorbonne and another Master’s in International Relations from the Paris Institute of Political Studies. Her ongoing Ph.D. focuses on the visual representation of Northern Ireland during the Troubles (1969-1998).
Moises Saman blends traditional conflict photography with a deeply personal point of view. Born in Lima, Peru, from a mixed Spanish and Peruvian family, Saman and his family relocated to Barcelona where he spent most of his youth. He studied Communications and Sociology in the United States at California State University, graduating in 1998.…
W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine examines the historical use and artistic treatment of walls over centuries. Across diverse civilizations, walls have been central to human history, from Hadrian’s Wall to our current debate over the U.S./Mexico border.Learn More