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208 ways to leave the EU. Tales from the Irish Border

Michel PETILLO | The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Foylemore Oysters, founded over 30 years ago faces severe economic consequences post-Brexit. Lough Foyle remains disputed territory since 1922. Will this be another Brexit saga in the making?

In May this year, I concluded a two-week road trip along the Irish border, covering over 1900 km of terrain and over 208 or so border crossings between Northern Ireland and the Republic.This has resulted in a number of photographs of border crossings, landscapes and individual portraits of people living along the border. I collected their stories, views and concerns regarding a hard Brexit and Irish unification, and I saw with my own eyes the logistical improbability of controlling a hard border. Brexit, for most, is a decision on the wrong side of history that will endanger the Good Friday Peace Agreement.Besides the fear for new violence,smuggling would become big business again, and the livelihood for farmers and business might crumble under the financial pressures an exit from the EU would bring.The entire series, including several landscape images depicting border crossings has been published in Brussels Times Magazine last year.


Michel is a Brussels-based freelance fine art and documentary photographer (°1971). He is half Italian, half Dutch.He started photography with the Berlin School of Photography in 2009. In 2014, Michel attended a documentary photography course at the LCC of the University of Arts and Magnum Photo.In addition to being a professional photographer and photojournalist, Michel holds a master’s in international law & human rights, and clinical psychology. 

His documentary work is inspired by current social, political, religious and environmental issues, producing images that fall midway between fine art photography and classic documentary work. His photo series are accompanied by short in-depth articles.


Michel Petillo

Tel: +32 494 3165 99

Email: info@michelpetillo.com

Instagram: @michel_petillo



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