Juxtapoz Magazine - Ross McDonnell: The Life of a Joyrider

The photographs in Ross McDonnell’s book Joyrider are a coming-of-age story, one where everything and everyone are constantly changing in the midst of...

A cinematographer by trade, McDonnell began photographing young residents of the Ballymun housing estate in Dublin, Ireland, in 2006 after studying film at university. A failed government social experiment in the process of being torn down, Ballymun had become a symbol of Dublin’s underclass, ravaged, as the book explains, “by successive drug epidemics and inter-generational malaise.”

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Ross McDonnell

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Coming of Age in Dublin's Underworld

Ross McDonnell documented Dublin youths coming of age in a world of drugs, gangs and arson, Dawn Lim reports.

Joy riding — stealing and destroying cars — is a rite of passage in the lawless but ritualistic world of disaffected youth in Ballymun, a community on the north side of Dublin. In “Joyrider,” through a series of cinematic black-and-white shots awash in light and movement, the photographer Ross McDonnell documented youths coming of age in a world of drugs, gangs and arson.