Belfast Exposed


2nd May - 1st Jun

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?! (2024) is a durational piece based on content shared on the artist’s social media, linked to the resu...

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2nd May - 29th Jun


This exhibition is an ongoing body of work by Chad Alexander. The series was created in Belfast and centres on people, predom...

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25th Sep - 7th Oct

Young People Behind the Lens

Over the summer, a group of young people from Start 360 explored the cityscape of Belfast. They found new ways to see the...

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21st May - 22nd May

Showing the faces of dementia with Alzheimer’s NI

Ahead of the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference 2019 (ASAC19), Belfast Exposed was commissioned by Alzheimer’s NI to w...

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Not Surrendering

Gallery 2

5th Oct 2023 to 4th Nov 2023

About The Exhibition

Belfast Exposed presents ‘Not Surrendering’ by Mariusz Śmiejek, an exhibition of images taken from Śmiejek’s forthcoming photobook of the same name.

Not Surrendering tells the story of loyalist communities, struggling to shape a distinct identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland. In documents the daily lives of loyalist working-class communities, including members of the illegal paramilitary groups that exist within them. By focusing on the space and routine in which his subjects inhabit, Śmiejek gives us an insight into the ‘siege mentality of these communities. The work also spotlights the atmosphere of despair that accompanies each successive generation – trapped socially and mentally in unprocessed traumas from which it cannot escape.

The aim of Śmiejek’s work is to shine a light on reconciliation and healing in post-conflict societies. In Not Surrendering, the difficulties of healing communities that are divided territorially, politically, nationally, and religiously are examined. In particular, Śmiejek highlights the challenges facing those seeking to reach out to young people from families deeply involved in past and present conflicts.

We are also delighted that Not Surrendering will be accompanied by No Surrender: The Protestant an exhibition of archival work by Ed Kashi, the prolific American photojournalist whose work in the 1980s-1990s documenting Protestant communities shares many common themes with Not Surrendering.

Not Surrendering is on display in Gallery II from 5th to 28th October. It will be accompanied by an artist talk, with Mariusz Śmiejek in conversation with Malachi O'Doherty & Ed Kashi on 19th October.

The Artists

Mariusz Śmiejek

Artist Biography

Mariusz Śmiejek is an independent visual storyteller specialising in the raw narrative of human and social conditions. His documentary work in Europe and Africa explores post-conflict communities, refugee and asylum seekers, child slavery, street children, human trafficking, victimised women, dangerous livelihoods, corruption and systemic abuse.