Mark Condren: 'The defenders we met on our travels are the very epitome of selflessness'

A photography exhibition by the Sunday Tribune's Mark Condren, exploring human rights abuses around the world, has begun the first step of its Irish and international tour.

Condren travelled to five underdeveloped countries with journalists from this newspaper and the human rights organisation Frontline in order to focus attention on minority communities struggling against physical and cultural oppression.

Visiting, in order, Honduras, Western Sahara, northeastern India, Serbia and Kenya, the series of dispatches concentrated on communities discriminated against for a range of issues including political affiliation, sexuality, territorial disputes and ethnic imbalance.

The tour was organised by the Sunday Tribune and Frontline, an Irish-based, multinational charity which supports the often life-threatening work undertaken by human rights 'defenders' in parts of the world where political, cultural and sexual tolerance can be virtually non-existent.

"The point of combining both words and images in portraying these regions was to give an overall impression of the chaotic and unpredictable conditions that these people have to endure every day of their lives," said Condren, an award-winning photo-journalist who has been in the field for the last 10 years.

"The lives these people live are simply unimaginable, particularly given the sacrifices they make and the risks they take to help promote human rights, not just for themselves, but for everybody in their communities.

"The defenders we met on our travels are the very epitome of selflessness and their struggles put our own into sharp context."

The five articles were written by Sunday Tribune journalists Ali Bracken, Colin Murphy, Mark Hilliard, Justine McCarthy and Michael Clifford.

The exhibition is currently on display in the City Library, Cork, and will travel to Limerick and Kilkenny before leaving Ireland for Brussels and Australia.