What is truth in photography? Bertolt Brecht claimed that photojournalism “has contributed practically nothing to the revelation of the truth about conditions in this world”. Could there be other routes for photographers? Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin prefer to search for truth not in the first-hand recording of some current event, but in the turbulence of the near past, as revealed in archival materials. Approaching the vast photographic archive amassed of the Troubles by the Belfast Exposed Archive, chronicling protests and confrontations, petty acts of violence and various routine happenings of daily life, they chose images not with a curatorial eye, but rather with a throw of the dice: they would expose only what was hidden below the round stickers placed willy-nilly by the archivists on the prints. And as a way of revealing the strong feelings these pictures could unleash, they included images purposely defaced by the subjects themselves, obviously fearful of repercussions.

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