The Marching Season / Antonio Olmos


In 1995 Antonio started photographing the annual Marching Season in Northern Ireland.

Every summer, loyalist and Protestant marches, mostly organised by the Orange Order, take place to celebrate ties to the United Kingdom and past victories over the Catholic forces of Ireland. These patriotic displays are contentious because many of the marches go through what are Catholic / nationalist communities. The main aim seems to be provocative, to display one community’s dominance over another.

Since the 1990s the most controversial marches have been banned or heavily policed to keep the peace. During the five year period of that these images were taken the main body of work focused on the loyalist / Protestant community as they raged over the restrictions of what they viewed as their right to practice their culture. Tensions in the period 1995-2000 were most evident in the town of Portadown where the Orange Order march was banned because it went through a Catholic community.