Philip Arneill

Photographer
 
Flegs
Location: Belfast
Nationality: Irish/UK
Biography: Author of the Tokyo Jazz Joints  photobook, and co-creator and photographer of the 'Tokyo Jazz Joints' audiovisual project, Philip's work explores the illusory ideas of home and culture by exploring insider-outsider dynamics and... MORE
Public Story
Flegs
Copyright Philip Arneill 2024
Updated Sep 2023
Location Array
There is something ethereal and beautiful about the shadows cast by moving flags, in contrast to the concrete messages they send, and the connotations they inevitably have in a Northern Irish context. 

Flags, or ‘Flegs’ in Belfast vernacular, while visible all year round, increase dramatically in number during the summer months, ostensibly as a celebration of the Protestant Orange marching season. They are of course more commonly a marker which declares the political and cultural loyalties of the neighbourhoods which erect them. 

Photographing them as shadows forces the eye to see them as something else, by neutralising their symbolic and sectarian power. Their message becomes illusory – as illusory as the sunshine required to make these images in a land famed for its grey and rainy skies – as they become indistinguishable from flags raised on any pole anywhere in the world.
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