Belfast, United Kingdom


Photographer: Mariusz Smiejek

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Darren Linton is a youth and community worker based in Greater Shankill, a unionist, or pro-British, area of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Since the end of the Troubles, the nearly three-decades-long conflict between mostly Catholic Irish nationalists and the largely Protestant, pro-British unionists in 1998, Northern Ireland has been largely free of sectarian violence. But many neighbourhoods have struggled to return to normality. Working class areas in particular face unemployment, drug addiction, high suicide rates and continuing paramilitarism. Darren works on a range of projects. Some bring together young people from the two sides of Northern Ireland’s sectarian divide, giving them a chance to get to know each other. Others aim at preventing violence between young people from both communities. And others look to take vulnerable young people off the streets of Belfast’s more difficult areas.