The Warzone Centre was a youth & community centre in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
It was an all ages venue that originally opened in 1986 with the help of Belfast’s new centre for the unemployed and run by punks.
In 1991 the venue moved to a much bigger building which is where all of the photos in this book were taken. Over the years it became infamous as being one of the most credible venues in Europe for D.I.Y. punk.
I got my very first camera in 1997. At the time I just snapped photos here and there without any real intention. I was more into drumming in bands than taking photos and in hindsight I wish I’d taken more photos. But in some respect I really like the naiveté that comes through in the pictures. Either way, it’s really nice to have a record of this time and place.
About Ricky Adam
Ricky Adam was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland in 1974. Ricky has been involved in the D.I.Y. punk community for many years & has been Co. Editor/Photographer for ‘DIG BMX‘ magazine for over 20 years.
He has spent ‘X’ amount of years playing in bands & traveling all over the world taking photographs. His work has been featured in many worldwide publications/record labels, some of which include: DIG BMX magazine, The Independent, Juxtapoz, Obey, Maximum Rock N’Roll, British Journal of Photography, Upper Playground, Hamburger Eyes, Dischord Records, Burning Heart Records.His work has also been exhibited in art shows throughout the world. [Official Website]
Talking with Ricky Adam
I was born in Northern Ireland and first discovered photography at the age of 16 after I took a few photos with my friends dads camera. I grew up with photography in my blood but frustratingly never had the money to buy a camera of my own until I turned 19, as soon as this happened that was that, I was terminally hooked. I was attracted to the immediacy of photography, I was always good at art and painted a bit at school but personally I found the painting process too slow. I’ve always been a collector of things: records, books, magazines (of which I have a huge collection in boxes in my loft) & whatnot so taking photos is sort of an extension of this.
The photos in ‘Belfast Punk’ are some of the very first pictures I ever took. At the time I just snapped photos here and there without any real intention. I was more into drumming in bands really than taking photos, and in hindsight I wish I’d taken more. But in some respect I really like the naiveté that comes through in the pictures. Over the years I continued to take photos.
‘Punk’ inevitably means different things to different people. It’s a very difficult thing to define these days. Personally, I think punk (or whatever you want to call it) is more vital now than it has been in a long time. Between Trump, Brexit and everything else that’s going rotten around the globe there’s a sour reek. Young people have a sense of empowerment and are resisting in a way we haven’t seen for a long time. It’s palpable, and they have good reason to be pissed off! Back when punk shed it’s gimmicky, commercial high street appeal bands such as Crass, Fugazi, Conflict, (to name but a few) gave punk a political outlook. Punk is so much more than kids with funny haircuts & studded jackets. It is direct action & it can make change happen.
Belfast Punk: Warzone Centre 1997 – 2003 is published by Damiani.
Hard Cover | 176 pages | Matt art paper | Dimensions: W: 225mm x H: 300mm