Tearsheet – Pervoe Vtoroe Tretye magazine

No, I don’t know how to say it either but this Russian magazine that commissioned me were utterly charming, paid well – before time – and were a pleasure to work with… My thanks to Olga, Evegeny and Natalia.

Another Delhi food story again soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A website refreshed…

I’ve just completed a refresh of my website. Listening to clients it was clear that people wanted to see recent images much more often and so I’ve added a new section right at the top of the page called New Work. I’ll be updating regularly so I hope people will look in now and again.

In addition I’ve updated the Destinations section with some new images.

Here’s a screen grab. Click the image to go to the site

 

Meditation Flash Mob…

I’ve mentioned before about people finding private space for themselves in busy cities so here was a nice little thing – a meditation flash mob – perhaps a couple of hundred people or so came to sit by the stone lion in the great Court of the British Museum on Friday evening… shame I was photographing rather than being a part of it as it looked rather interesting…

 

UK - London - A man performs qi gong exercises as part of a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum

 

UK - London - People taking part in a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum

 

UK - London - A woman taking part in a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum

Dickensian Delhi

 

I visited the Dickens exhibition at the Museum of London yesterday – a really powerful evocation of the writer and his times.

What always struck me about Dickens was his ability to convey the despair and misery that the city around him housed: no stranger to debt, his past was marked by the fear of slipping back into poverty. I think that the exhibition gave me a very apt adjective to describe the dark underside of a city that I have worked in so much, namely Delhi. Perhaps all societies lurching through such painful Capitalist development are like this – but certainly Delhi is Dickensian in its mercilessness and its cruelty. The lack of a safety net and not-so-subtle machinations of caste mean that the people who produce the city’s wealth by selling their labour are completely at the mercy of the vagaries of the Market and the violence of the street. In a similar fashion to Dickens’ time they must struggle against a whole moral code that tells them they are nothing if they have no status. I’ve mentioned here before a slim volume of reportage and writing from those at the bottom of the dark underbelly of this metropolis called Trickster City and the more that I looked at the exhibition yesterday, the more I thought of Delhi.

Dickens’ “slime and ooze of the Thames” is the realm of the boy who picks bits of detritus out of the poisoned Yamuna River on a pathetic raft of polystyrene and rags. Budi Lal, pouring through other people’s filth and rubbish and ignored by all except the snarling dogs and his debtors is Boffin, the Rag Picker from Our Mutual Friend. The men burning plastic bags could be from the slum in Bleak House; Tom-All-Alone’s.

All of them would recognise Victorian London.

 

 

India - New Delhi - A young scavenger on a raft, beneath the road bridge across the Yamuna River by the Kudsia Ghat, New Delhi. Scavengers trawl the filth of the river to find objects to sell. The river is so polluted that it can no longer support life, however a community still live and work on it's banks.

 

India - New Delhi - Buddhi Lal, 30 works before dawn collecting refuse to recycle and resell. Known as 'rag-picking' he can make perhaps Rs150-200 a day and is often chased and attacked by stray dogs because of the smell of his work

 

India - Delhi - Destitute men gather around a fire made from refuse and plastic bags to try and keep warm. It is estimated that around 100000 people are homeless in the city

 

 

The Englishman and the eel

Although I already featured a tearsheet of a recent assignment on London’s pie and mash shops (see here), I thought I’d take the opportunity to show some of the images that didn’t make the magazine edit. Although I’m certainly no interiors photographer, I’ve always been intrigued by the survival of period details in these shops – a palimpsest of past London lives. Crucially, none of the images that Effilee featured showed the interior of the Manze shop in Walthamstow market. I thought this had the best architectural details although, dating from the 1930’s, it wasn’t the oldest.

I saw the piece (and my accompanying text – a link that I will post soon) almost as a bit of visual archeology. Like the long closed Jewish Soup Kitchen that I photographed at the start of my career (see here) these places are disappearing year after year. As I’ve said before, the corporate, identikit British high street is a poorer place for the passing of traditional cafes and all manner of independent shops.

Whatever you’re preconceptions of this food – and I guarantee that they are likely wrong – I urge you to try it even if it’s just an excuse to rediscover something of the past that for now, is still with us.

 

UK - London - A customer eats a plate of eels, pie and mash in Cookes' Eel, Pie and mash shop in Hoxton

 

UK - London - A plate of stewed eels and mash at Manze's Pie and Mash shop in Tower Bridge Road

 

UK - London - An antique flower pot (with a typically 1930's aspidistra...), a broom and an umbrella by a door at Manze's Pie and mash shop in Walthamstow market. The interior is Grade 2 listed

 

UK - London - UK - London - Original tile details at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow

 

UK - London - The interior of Manze's Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow market showing the rare pressed tin tile ceiling

 

UK - London - A pre-decimal cash register at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow

 

UK - London - Original tiles and a boxing poster from the 1970's in Cookes' Eel, Pie and Mash shop in London Fields

 

UK - London - UK - London - The interior of Cookes' Eel, Pie and Mash shop in London Fields

 

UK - London - A man eats a plate of eels, pie and mash at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash on Tower Bridge Road, the oldest in London dating from 1902

Imran Khan… again

It seems that Imran Khan, who I’ve photographed a couple of times on assignment (and previously written about) is finally making a breakthrough in the murky and dangerous world of Pakistani politics with a large rally on Christmas Day. I was delighted therefore to see that his new book, Pakistan, a personal history includes a couple of my images of him.

Here’s one they unfortunately missed…

 

 

Pakistan - Lahore - Imran Khan the former Pakistan International Cricket player at prayer in a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan