Belfast. Peace by Piece. 

The city of Belfast offers a window into understanding how groups interact with the institutions without a secure social footing from years of residence. The devolved, yet federal nature of the Northern Ireland state results in immigration largely controlled from London, resulting in an even wider gap between the immigrant populations in residence and the local authorities who are far more preoccupied with the bi-communal politics of the divided city. One of the largest migrant populations today is the Polish community whose political activity is more diffuse and are frequently seen to have "one foot in Poland." Those areas of core interaction focus on employment and education in the here and now, rather than action to secure community representation in the future. Still, the economic tensions around housing and labour are significant in a developing economy emerging from years of conflict and present unique challenges for immigrant newcomers.

Peace by Piece - photo by Antonio Olmos
Photo Credit: Antonio Olmos