In the context of Northern Ireland’s emergence from three decades of conflict in the late 1990s, Belfast Exposed began to run a programme of contemporary photography exhibitions. The programme evolved ‘organically’ in dialogue with artists, communities and audiences and in response to the changing conditions of life in Northern Ireland. Despite a non-prescriptive approach, the programme can be seen to represent a number of recurring themes and concerns, and these interests essentially form the basis of Belfast Exposed’s core programming policy.
Belfast Exposed is primarily interested in supporting and promoting photography-based practice, particularly, critical, documentary forms. Through the gallery programme, Belfast Exposed has worked on a number of major participatory projects, which involve immersive, long-term engagement, with a critical awareness of the artist/participant relationship. Recurring thematic interests include urbanism and the contemporary city, identity, memory and the archive and particular social issues, including migration and the experience of marginalised communities in contemporary Northern Ireland.
Belfast Exposed commissions and/or supports the development of two or three new work projects every year. All artists producing solo exhibitions are paid a fee and a significant contribution is made towards exhibition production costs. Where possible a contribution towards research and development costs is paid and all marketing, transport and insurance costs are covered. Belfast Exposed also publishes or co-publishes much of the new work exhibited in the gallery.
Types of gallery projects are as follows:
- Solo exhibitions: supporting new work by artists based in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
- Solo exhibitions: supporting new work made in Northern Ireland
- Solo exhibitions by major international photographers: Artists include Allan Sekula, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Taryn Simon
- Group exhibitions
Supporting Artists based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- Dragana Jurisic YU: The Lost Country (2013)
- Mark Curran The Market (2013)
- Anthony Haughey Settlement (2012)
- Allan Hughes Enemy Blue (2012)
- Mary McIntyre Silent, Empty, Waiting for the Day (2011)
- Daniel Jewesbury Archive: Lisburn Road (2004) and NLR(2010)
- Aisling O’Beirn Improbable Landmarks (2010) and Some Structures Invisible to the Naked Eye (2011)
- Donovan Wylie Maze (2004), British Watchtowers (2007) and Maze 2007/8 (2009)
- Factotum The English in Northern Ireland (2005), A Century of Spin (2009) and Monster of Ulster (2012)
- John Duncan Trees From Germany (2003) and Bonfires (2008)
- Ursula Burke Routes (2002) and Archive: Lisburn Road (2004)
- Peter Richards Memorial (2002) and Portraits from a 50s Archive (2005)
Made in Northern Ireland
- Sylvia Grace Borda (CA) Churches (2012)
- Factotum (NI) Monsters of Ulster (2011)
- Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (UK) People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground (2011)
- Colin Gee (US) I Felt I’d Been Here Before (2010)
- Harri Pälviranta (FI) Playgrounds (2010)
- Redmond Entwistle (UK) Red Light (2009)
- Anthony Luvera (UK) Residency (2008)
- Michelle Sank (UK) Teenagers (2005)
- Claudio Hils (DE) Archive_Belfast (2004)
- Kai-Olaf Hesse (DE) Topography of the Titanic (2003)
Details of all Belfast Exposed exhibitions can be found at:
Belfast Exposed operates an open submissions policy alongside its long term exhibitions programming policy. Submissions are considered twice a year in February and July. If you would like your work considered for exhibition, please send proposals by email as follows:
- Up to 12 images (jpeg format, no bigger than 500K)
- A written proposal or statement about the submitted work with any technical specifications (up to 500 words)
Emails should be marked 'Exhibition Proposal' and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the amount of submissions we receive, we are unable to give individual feedback. We do not accept exhibition proposal by mail.
Belfast Exposed recognises that volunteering makes a contribution to society. On a societal level it can enhance active citizenship and social cohesion, as by its very nature volunteering is about bringing people together. On an individual level people see volunteering as a way of developing social contacts and putting something back.
Furthermore, we recognise that volunteering can address social exclusion by improving employability; have a beneficial effect on people’s health and psychological well-being; further education through mentoring and peer education; and overcome feelings of social isolation by connecting people to their local communities.
Belfast Exposed recognises that volunteering:
- Is based on personal motivation and choices, freely undertaken
- Is a way of furthering active citizenship and community involvement
- Enhances human potential and the quality of daily life, building up human solidarity
- Provides answers for the great challenges of our time, striving for a better and more peaceful world
- Contributes to the vitality of economic life, even creating jobs and new professions
Recognising that, unlike paid staff, volunteers are not covered by employment agreements, Belfast Exposed’s volunteers have the right to:
- Work in a healthy and safe environment
- Be interviewed and taken on in accordance with equal opportunity and fair employment legislation
- Be adequately covered by insurance
- Receive regular evaluation and recognition of their work
- Be given accurate and truthful information about Belfast Exposed
- Be reimbursed for genuine out of pocket expenses
- Have a volunteer job description and agreed hours of volunteering
- Have access to a grievance procedure
- Be provided with guidance and orientation to the organisation
- Be provided with adequate training
Furthermore, Belfast Exposed’s volunteers are not taken on:
- to fill a position previously held by a paid worker
- to do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes
All Belfast Exposed’s volunteers must:
- Familiarise themselves with and follow Belfast Exposed’s policies, Health and Safety Policy Statement; Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable People; Sexual and Racial Harassment, Code of Practice; Disability Equality and Awareness Policy; Equal Opportunities Policy Statement; Policy on Working with Volunteers (this document)
- Ensure their own safety, the safety of other members of the society and the general public
- Must not carry out a task about which they are uncertain, or if they are unsure of the correct safety procedure
- Inform the Project Manager if they have a medical condition which may affect them in the course of their duties
- Co-operate in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect with other volunteers and employees of Belfast Exposed (including freelances)
- Undertake training as required
- Maintain confidentiality in their activities where appropriate
Equal Opportunities Policy
Belfast Exposed Photography is committed to developing and implementing a Policy of Equal Opportunities. We recognise that many groups and individuals have been, and continue to be, disadvantaged by society and its institutions, with a key feature of this disadvantage being discrimination. Belfast Exposed Photography is opposed to discrimination on any grounds, including age, disability, employment status, ethnic origin, gender, linguistic preference, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, race, religious conviction, sexual identity or socio-economic group. We will act positively with the intention of contributing to the eradication of discrimination whether it be direct or indirect, individual or group, cultural or institutional, and will comply with any relevant requirements of the Good Friday Agreement and other relevant legislation.
In all its work Belfast Exposed Photography will actively promote and strive to establish a safe and supportive working environment, affording equal respect to all. Belfast Exposed Photography will adopt a positive action strategy in contributing to the elimination of discrimination and creating additional opportunities for disadvantaged groups. This strategy will include, where necessary and appropriate:
- All programmes of work to be actively working towards embracing equality of opportunity
- Support and encouragement to Belfast Exposed Photography’s user groups, participants, and workshop/course tutors in addressing specific forms of discrimination and disadvantage, including, where appropriate and necessary, targeted audiences and issue based agendas: (eg: Irish language, women only)
- Support and encouragement to Belfast Exposed Photography’s staff, and those undertaking duties on behalf of Belfast Exposed Photography, to enable them to make a positive contribution to combating discrimination and disadvantage
- Monitoring and review of all Belfast Exposed Photography activities to ensure that its policy applies to its own structures
In determining policies and priorities, Belfast Exposed Photography will:
- Respond to the distinctive needs of Northern Ireland in terms of its demographics and cultural profile
- Recognise that certain groups and individuals in society are discriminated against, and seek through partnerships and the allocation of its resources to promote programmes of work which militate against such disadvantage
- Ensure that its own advisory groups are representative of Northern Ireland and that their decisions are taken within a transparent framework for the ethical conduct of business
- In the provision of direct services, including information, advice, training, research and resources
Belfast Exposed Photography will:
- Publish information about the services which are available and promote them to the widest possible constituency within available resources
- Wherever possible, provide services in forms and media which address the special needs of particular groups or individuals
- Publish and promote information which provides details of the criteria under which resources are available, and the process and time scale within which decisions are made
- Target resources through available legal provisions to redress disadvantage and under-representation
In its work with partners, Belfast Exposed Photography will:
- Ensure that the views of affected constituencies are taken into account in developing policies and programmes of action
- Seek to raise awareness of the needs of groups and individuals who may be subject to direct or indirect discrimination within current provision
- Promote equal opportunities practice in both strategy development and service delivery
As an employer, Belfast Exposed Photography will:
- Operate employment, selection, and contracting procedures and practices, which promote equality of opportunity
- Provide clear and unambiguous specifications for the responsibilities and services against which it invites applications
- Produce guidelines for the advertising of such opportunities
- Substantiate the appointments made under such procedures and provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates
- Take positive action to redress under-representation in the workforce making use of available statutory and legal provisions as appropriate
In all areas of its work, Belfast Exposed Photography will:
- Produce plans to support development, and set targets for achievement, as appropriate
- Develop codes of conduct and provide training to ensure that its staff are fully equipped to implement this policy
- Monitor and review its policies, programmes and procedures against stated targets for achievement
- Advocate good practice in equal opportunities policy development and implementation
Sexual and Racial Harassment Policy
Sexual and racial harassment may emanate from any source and anyone can be its victim. It is therefore not acceptable to:
- Associate someone’s ability to perform their duties with their gender or gender characteristics
- Associate someone’s ability to perform their duties with their racial or ethnic identity, or racial or ethnic characteristics
- Refer to someone’s gender using pejorative terminology
- Refer to someone’s racial or ethnic identity using pejorative terminology
- Address someone in an offensive manner based upon their gender, or racial or ethnic identity
- Expect someone to perform menial tasks based upon their gender, or racial or ethnic identity
Any breaches of this Code of Practice will be dealt with in accordance with current legislation.
Disability Equality and Awareness Policy
This policy statement relates solely to physically disabled persons, those with learning, mental health or severe physical, disability, being covered by Appendix 4, Protection of Children and Vulnerable People Policy.
Belfast Exposed Photography, believes that all persons are equal irrespective of age, disability, employment status, ethnic origin, gender, linguistic preference, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, race, religious conviction, sexual identity or socio-economic group.
This policy statement relates solely to physically disabled persons, those with learning, mental health or severe physical, disability, being covered by Appendix 4, Protection of Children and Vulnerable People Policy.
Conscious of the fact that people are disabled by society rather than by their diverse and individual disabilities, or impairments, Belfast Exposed Photography seeks to remove or minimise those barriers insofar as it is able to do so having account of its financial and practical limitations. In all matters relating to disability Belfast Exposed Photography’s Board of Directors will ensure compliance, as a minimum standard, within the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act.
Whereas personal care and support is the responsibility of the individual, tailored training, and support for volunteers and staff will be provided, where this is reasonable, necessary and possible. We shall ensure that our premises are safe and accessible, but cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide equipment specific to the needs of a particular individual. We do, however, have a wide range of equipment which is suited to many needs, e.g. lightweight camera and portable darkroom, computer and photographic equipment, large monitors, equipment with chunky controls, etc.
All Belfast Exposed Photography staff, freelancers and volunteers receive Disability Equality and Awareness Training prior to commencing duties and are kept aware of changes to legislation affecting disability. Annual refresher courses are also provided.
Disabled people are extremely welcome at Belfast Exposed Photography, which has an excellent record in providing for their needs; supporting, showcasing and facilitating projects by and for disabled people; and supporting the production of work highlighting important disability issues.
Health and Safety Policy
Belfast Exposed Photography, as an employer, is committed to providing and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment for all its employees, freelance staff, course and workshop participants, user groups, audiences and any other people who may be involved in its activities. The ultimate responsibility for health and safety at Belfast Exposed Photography rests with its Board of Directors.
This statement applies to all premises and activities within the control of Belfast Exposed Photography.
Key Health and Safety Policy Objectives
To comply, as a minimum standard, with all requirements of relevant legislation;
- To identify hazards (the potential for harm), assess risks (the likelihood of that harm being realised) and manage those risks
- To provide and maintain equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health
- To ensure that employees, freelance staff, course and workshop participants, user groups and others are adequately informed of the identified risks and, where appropriate, that they receive instruction, training and supervision
- To consult with employees' representatives on health and safety matters
- To monitor and review the effectiveness of Northern Visions’ arrangements and, where appropriate, to implement improvements
- To ensure that the demands of activities do not exceed the capabilities of staff to carry out the work without risk to themselves or others
Whilst Belfast Exposed Photography accepts responsibility for the implementation of this policy, it believes that individuals have an important role to play in ensuring a healthy and safe working environment. Individuals are therefore required to abide by rules and requirements made by Belfast Exposed Photography’s Board of Directors in relation to this policy.
Belfast Exposed Photography will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:
The practical application of this policy within Belfast Exposed Photography;
- That areas of responsibility for health and safety are delegated and defined as appropriate
- That a set of codes of practice, instruction manuals, lists of procedures, standards and advice, is collated, insofar as they apply to this policy
- The provision of adequate technical, financial and human resources to enable effective implementation of this policy
- The health and safety of all persons other than employees that may be present on the premises, or affected anywhere by the activities of Belfast Exposed Photography
- That the policy statement is brought to the attention of all Belfast Exposed Photography employees
- That employees are aware of their responsibilities to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their activities or failure to act
Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable People
Belfast Exposed recognises that everyone has a right to be protected from all forms of abuse and discrimination, and to be treated equally, irrespective of age, culture, disability, employment status, ethnic origin, gender, linguistic preference, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, race, religious conviction, sexual identity or socio-economic group.
Everyone involved with Belfast Exposed, in whatever capacity, has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and preventing abuse.
Belfast Exposed’s role is not to investigate but to report suspected cases of abuse.
- Children are defined as anyone under the age of 18 years
- Vulnerable persons include adults with learning, mental health or severe physical, disability
- All references to children include young people and vulnerable people
Belfast Exposed Responsibilities
- To safeguard and promote the interests and well being of all children with whom we are working
- To take all reasonable practicable steps to protect children and young people from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment
- To respect children’s rights, wishes and feelings
- To take seriously, and respond swiftly and appropriately to, all suspicions and allegations of abuse
- These responsibilities rest with Belfast Exposed’s Board of Directors, who will act at all times fully in accordance with the Children’s (NI) Order 1995, and Our Duty to Care, Child Care NI 1995, and put in place the following directives:
- All programmes involving children are carried out by vetted staff: Northern Visions uses PECS
- All partners involved in Northern Visions projects and programmes involving young people must have a Child Protection Policy and procedures compatible with Northern Visions’ Child Protection Policy
Expectation of Partners
- Offer safeguards to the children with whom we work and to our members of staff, tutors, freelancers and volunteers
- Help maintain the professionalism and standards set by Belfast Exposed
We recognise that any procedure is only as effective as the ability and skill of those who operate it. Belfast Exposed will liaise with partners prior to a project, which involves children and young people taking place. Partners should recognise that our staff, tutors, freelancers and volunteers are not experts in the field of child abuse and that it is Belfast Exposed’s duty to report suspected cases of abuse, NOT to investigate cases.
Allegations of Abuse Against Members of Staff, Tutors, Freelancers and Volunteers
- Belfast Exposed’s Board of Directors shall be informed of all allegations and will take the appropriate action
- A record of all allegations shall be maintained
- The Project Manager will have responsibility for ensuring proper supervision of people working with children on Belfast Exposed projects
- If the Project Manager is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the Chair of Belfast Exposed’s Board of Directors. The Chair will then be responsible for taking the appropriate action
Recruitment and Selecting Staff and Volunteers
- When undertaking pre-selection checks for volunteers, tutors, freelancers, or paid staff who will work with children, Belfast Exposed will require
- All volunteers and permanent staff to complete an application form
- Consent to be obtained from applicants for Police and Social Services checks to be made
- At least two references to be taken up, one of which should, if possible, refer to previous work with children
- All information received to be treated in confidence.
Belfast Exposed will hold all records deemed appropriate strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Bookings and Cancellation Policy
Bookings: Booking is on a first-come first-served basis. Places on all courses are limited so early booking is highly recommended.
A place may be booked by phone, or online, giving the name and date of the workshop you wish to participate in. Please ensure to give your full name, email, postal address and phone number.
If you book by leaving a phone message, or by email, we will contact you as soon as possible to confirm if a place is available. A waiting list will operate for fully subscribed courses.
Once a place is booked payment must be made within 3 days or the place will be released. A place is not confirmed until payment has been received.
Payments: Payment can be made by cash, cheque (payable to Belfast Exposed Photography), credit or debit card during the hours of 10am and 5pm. Payment may also be made online using the ‘Buy Now’ yellow PayPal link on our website for your selected course.
Training courses costing more than £150 may be paid in 2 equal installments. The final balance is due 7 days before the course commences. If payment is not received the booking will be cancelled.
Notice of Cancellation: Please inform us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a course. A cancellation fee of 25% (minimum £10) will apply to cancellations made less than 10 days before the course start date.
Non-transferable: Bookings for workshops and courses are non-transferable.
Punctuality: It is very important that all course participants arrive in good time. If you find yourself running late on the day of the course, please let us know.
Non-attendance: Please liaise with your tutor about any missed sessions to arrange course information sheets to be held over for you. Missed sessions cannot be transferred to another course.
Please note: Belfast Exposed reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient places are booked. Based on availability, you may be eligible to transfer to another course or session, or alternatively a full refund will be issued.
Photography in the Community Policy
Thirty years ago, a small team of local photographers initiated an exhibition of amateur photography reflecting the experience of Belfast from the inside. The exhibition was called 'Belfast Exposed', and initially comprised over 200 photographs and slides, articulating the life of the city from predominately working class perspectives. Emerging from these beginnings, Belfast Exposed’s photography in the community programme encourages local people to use photography as a way of documenting and recording social experience from the inside. Recurring themes include: exploring identity, documenting place and engaging with history.
Participating communities generally act as commissioning bodies, where Belfast Exposed designs projects in partnership, responding to local interests and needs and often helping communities to access funds. With an emphasis on building skills, creativity and community capacity, Belfast Exposed community photography projects provide hands-on experience in 35mm and digital photography, with participants going out on location, applying Photoshop in the studio or mastering traditional processing and printing skills in our darkroom. Projects also provide opportunities for editing and exhibition making alongside advice on archiving and promoting finished work.
Belfast Exposed photography in the community seeks to engage with wide range of people and organisations, of all ages, interests and backgrounds. Whether developing a team of local volunteers, providing skills for employability and enterprise, or planning a local promotion or campaign, a Belfast Exposed photography project can provide an exciting, enjoyable and creative experience which adds value to community development work.
Since spring 2012, our staff, volunteers, Board, arts and community partners have been coming together to contribute to a programme of learning, evaluation, consultation, planning and research, designed to transform the way we work with photography in the community. This work has emerged through our participation in Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Our Museum, a nationwide initiative aimed at bringing community engagement to the heart of museum and gallery practice.
As one of 9 UK galleries and museums taking part, Belfast Exposed has been working with community partners to explore challenges, which will be familiar to many working in the arts and broader public sector: how to establish common values and goals that are meaningful to the wide range of interests we serve. At the heart of the question sits our commitment to build more effective relationships of trust across all the work we do in the gallery and in the community. In consultation with community partners, Belfast Exposed will be piloting new photography in the community models for evaluation during spring and early summer 2014. We propose to incorporate these new models into our programming from 2014.
Details of all Belfast Exposed photography in the community projects can be found at: