Monday 20 August 2007

Stuart Freedman: Shadipur Depot, Delhi

Image Copyright © Stuart Freedman-All Rights Reserved

Stuart Freedman has been a photographer since 1991, and his work has been published in, amongst others, Life, Geo, Time, Der Spiegel, Newsweek and Paris Match covering stories from Albania to Afghanistan and from former Yugoslavia to Haiti.

His work has been recognised in many awards, from Amnesty International, Pictures of the Year, The World Sports Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society and UNICEF. Stuart's talents as a photographer and writer are in clear evidence through his work shown on his website. I'm extremely impressed by his work in Shadipur, an artist colony in the slums of Delhi, where he photographed. His literary talents are as eloquent as his photography, and from his introductory essay on Shadipur. I am pleased to quote a couple of paragraphs that I found particularly beautiful:

"Shadipur is home to most of Delhi’s traditional entertainers - acrobats, magicians, dancers and the like, and here, to India’s shame, they remain - stuck between poverty on the one hand and international stardom on the other, consigned to their fate by bureaucracy and the ineptitude of the authorities. A place forgotten or unknown to most Delhi residents."

"Barefoot children are running through the open sewers and those that have no facilities in their shacks are relieving themselves over the embankment. There’s a great commotion of spitting and hoiking of phlegm and a man is lying where he lay last night, dead drunk, covered in vomit. Then you hear the drums starting up. Like a rough dawn chorus, someone is practising a tabla , then someone else joins in, then there’s singing. Then bedlam. Walking becomes nigh impossible down the crowded, twisting, narrow lanes. Children run screaming past and push into you. Men with instruments in cloth bags hurry down to the main road to catch a bus for a gig. Bejewelled Rajasthani women start their daily grind of washing and cooking."

Stuart has photographed the Maha Kumbh Mela of 2001, in Burundi, in Somaliland, Ghana, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Rwanda as well.

Stuart Freedman's website.

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