An unflinching look at Northern Ireland’s rebellious youth

An unflinching look at Northern Ireland’s rebellious youth
Destroying Everything… Seems Like The Only Option — Photographer Ricky Adam documents Northern Ireland's rowdy punk and BMX scenes from the inside.

Photographer Ricky Adam has published the extended second edition of his unique perspective on Northern Ireland’s DIY punk scene, Destroying Everything… Seems Like The Only Option.

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Adam first discovered photography at the age of 16 after taking photos with a friend’s dad’s camera. He bought his own camera at 19, and has been hooked ever since.

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“Photography for me is something that started out purely as a hobby. I rode bikes, skated & all my friends were into punk,” he said. “The things I photographed were a direct response to what I was going on around me, and a catalyst for picking up a camera in the first place.

“I quickly realised that photography was something that I could do pretty well. It fitted in with my lifestyle. I liked the immediacy of it and it was fun, so I stuck at it.”

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The majority of the photographs in Destroying Everything… focus on youth subcultures and deal with the frustration of being young and oftentimes directionless – kids winging it, rebelling, doing their own thing.

They document young people spraying graffiti, punk shows, and BMXing through the deserted streets of Bangor, the town where Adam grew up, ten miles from Belfast.

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Adam became involved in the punk scene through BMXing aged 12. He focuses on punk rather than the Northern Irish conflict because, “it was a break from the norm and was something positive that I could channel my energy into.

“A lot of the subjects I photograph have a somewhat self-destructive personality – I think everyone is self-destructive in one sense or another. It’s all part of being human.”

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Destroying Everything… Seems Like The Only Option is out now. Check out the book promo video.

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