Editorial — Gerry Balfe Smyth

Last Breath

Over a period of seven years, Irish photographer Gerry Balfe Smyth documented the disillusioned but vibrant life of the community of a neglected flats complex in the south of Dublin.

21. März 2020 — MYP N° 28 »Friendship« — Photography & Text: Gerry Balfe Smyth

Portrait of a Dublin community

»Last Breath« is a series of photographs documenting life in the south inner city flats complex of St. Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin’s liberties area. The pictures are inspired by the spirit and resolve of the people in this once-massive public housing project built in the 1950s, a development that was neglected for generations.

The pictures were taken over a seven-year period before the regeneration of the area had begun. The images are a tribute to the struggle with drug addiction and crime that the local community had to endure, a reminder that social integration and inclusion must be accompanied by economic investment for it to have a chance. The pictures are the last breath of a vibrant community before it is finally laid to rest.