No Surrender: The Protestants provides an intimate look at Northern Ireland’s fractious Protestant neighborhoods. This body of work aims to show the loyalist sections of Belfast are far from a ruling upper class and that the real struggle for equality can only begin after peace. Consciously choosing to continue a war can inadvertently turn oneself into one’s own oppressor.
Many parts of Ireland are not the happy-go-lucky places often imagined in stories. In Belfast, rainbows, smiling old men, tweed coats, stone fences, and a jubilant lifestyle can be as much a myth as the leprechaun. Rebel songs are still sung at funerals, propagandist murals still loom over streets, politically charged bonfires roar on symbolic holidays, and neighborhoods are fiercely divided. The pain is too fresh to be entirely forgotten and under increasing economic hardship, violence should not be unexpected.
“I feel for any man, woman, or child that has had to live in a war and the nightmare stories I’ve heard from both sides are nothing short of shocking: shootings, torture, bombings, riots, prostitution, gun running, and public rape. The majority of these horrors were hidden from newspapers. It was easy to forget that when the IRA fired back against the ‘occupying government’ they didn’t take sharp aim, but instead lashed out at any and all that weren’t from their neighborhood or didn’t go to their church.” – Ed Kashi