Ashura Procession in London

Saturday wasn’t much of a day for taking pictures, the odd spot of rain in the air and pretty well zero light. But one of the things about photographing events is that you just have to get on and do it, whatever the weather. And Saturday was the 10th day of Muharram, Ashura Day when Shia Muslims remember the martyrdom of Husain and his small group of followers at Kerbala, Iraq in 61AH.

I was surprised to one London blog mentioning this event as a part of “Hidden London” last week. It isn’t too easy to hide several thousand people walking along one of the major roads in the capital, especially as some of them are banging drums and blowing trumpets, while others chant through loudspeakers to lead the mainly black-clad walkers in their mourning.

I’ve photographed it several years, I think for the first time in 2000. Despite the weather I was pleased with several of the images I got, particularly this one:

Ashura Procession, London. (C) Peter Marshall, 2008

It’s an image that for me captures some of the fervour and chaos of the event, and the participation of the men involved (I also got another picture I like of some of the women.)

This is an uncropped digital ‘straight print‘ developed from the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom, and it would benefit from a little ‘burning‘ and ‘dodging‘ before making the final output, but I seldom find time for this before putting work on the web. You can see this and some of the other pictures I made at the event on My London Diary as usual.

Peter Marshall

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