No Pasaran

This Saturday, July 2nd 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War and events will be held at memorials all across the UK. This annual commemoration honours the 2,500 men and women from the British Isles who served in the International Brigades as soldiers or medics, of whom 526 were killed in Spain. They were among 35,000 volunteers from around the world who rallied to the Spanish Republic as it tried to put down the fascist-backed military revolt.

In the London ceremony on the South Bank, I believe that two surviving veterans plan to attend. They are David Lomon, who was captured with other members of the British Battalion during fighting in Aragón in the spring of 1938 and spent six months in the notorious prison camp of San Pedro de Cardeñas, near Burgos, and Thomas Watters, who served in the Madrid-based Scottish Ambulance Unit. I hope I can be there.

In 1996 I wrote and photographed a piece for the Independent Magazine about the veterans of that war.

Here are three images that I found from my archive.

No Pasaran


UK - London - Alf, Spanish Civil War veteran
UK - London - Michael Economides, Spanish Civil War veteran
UK - London - Max Collins, Spanish Civil War veteran

Shivers up my spine…

A few weeks ago, Priya Thomas who runs the rather excellent Shivers up the Spine blog got in touch because she was running a piece about the pioneering choreographer Richard Tremblay and his training in Kathakali. In the 1970’s he attended the Kerala Kalamandalam which I photographed (and wrote about) for a magazine a few years ago.

In a fascinating piece, she profiles Tremblay and explores his cross-cultural approach. I was happy to give Priya permission to run some images and publish my piece Into the Dreams of Heroes in its entirety. You can see the main article here and my piece here.

My edit of the story can be found on my site here



A good collaboration.


I’m a big fan of The Travel Photographer’s blog and indeed I’ve been lucky enough to have my work featured there several times. It’s a lovely showcase.

Imitation as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. So imagine how flattered I felt when I saw a similar set to one that I’d previously had shown on that blog on a link to another photographer’s archive page who has also just been featured. Lovely. And published too – in M Magazine, the weekend supplement of The National in the UAE.

I shot my story about a decade ago on transparency film… seems like another age really, though I see that one of subjects, the wonderful Bhagwan Das Bhatt has lost a bit of hair. Obviously not his love of life (or a drop of the hard stuff – of which I remember joining him for one morning…) although I see he has decorated…

Actually, from the selection that I have here – my images are on the left by the way – very little seems to have changed. In fact what struck me was how similar, how… familiar they looked. An homage I’m sure…

Of course I am not suggesting that I am the only photographer that has ever shot in Shadipur – far from it –  Zackary Canepari shot it recently as I am sure have lots of people. For me though, the much underrated Australian photographer Philip Gostelow did it best (and before me) in black and white.

What links them though is their unique vision. Their ability to see things their way.

It was all their own work too… and so easy to find on the internet…





I suppose if you were interested in seeing original work then you could look at the set on my website here and you could also read my reportage here… all the words are, please note ©Stuart Freedman.

That’s copyright Stuart Freedman.

Thank you for your time.


Charlotte Joko Beck

I was saddened to read of the passing of Charlotte Joko Beck recently. While I have my own thoughts about some aspects of American Zen, Beck’s clear-headed actions stood out and could serve well as a light to another community that I am part of. The photographic one.

“I meet all sorts of people who’ve had all sorts of experiences and they’re still confused and not doing very well in their life. Experiences are not enough. My students learn that if they have so-called experiences, I really don’t care much about hearing about them. I just tell them, ‘Yeah, that’s O.K. Don’t hold onto it. And how are you getting along with your mother?’… ‘Learning how to deal with one’s personal, egotistic self. That’s the work. Very, very difficult.’” Joko Beck.

Some people will know of my own recent near misses and so her last words (according to the Twitter feed of one of Beck’s colleagues) have an extraordinary (and unlike my own…) courageous resonance.

”This too is wonder.”

Japan - Kyoto - A detail of a wooden door at the Ginkakuji temple, Kyoto, Japan

Effilee Magazine spread

Here’s a recent tearsheet from the May/June 2011 edition of the rather lovely German Magazine, Effilee with my long term piece about the Indian Coffee House in New Delhi.

Effilee is a food and lifestyle magazine who commissioned the images and a 5000-word piece from me. The English translation can be found under the Writings section of my website here.

The piece is called The Palace of Monkeys and Memory



M F Husain

It’s with great sadness that I heard this morning that the rather wonderful Indian artist MF Husain passed away during the night. I wrote about him last year as he’d taken Qatari citizenship but continued to keep a house in London. Doubtless those shrill self-appointed, hateful voices from the Hindu religious right will be celebrating his demise – and how brave they were from keeping a old man from dying in his own country. I remember him as a courteous and thoughtful subject, delightfully playful during the evening I spent with him in apartment in Mumbai a decade ago. A charming man and an astonishing talent.


India - Mumbai - MF Husain, India's greatest modernist painter at his studio in Bombay. Before him is a picture of his muse Maduri Dixit, a film actress