Researching influences on fandangos in Huelva

la Peña de Arias Montano, Alájar, Spain. (c) Carole Edrich 2013

la Peña de Arias Montano, Alájar, Spain. (c) Carole Edrich 2013

The experiences I had in Huelva, during the first two days of this trip around Andalusia would have been a privilege even in times of economic plenty. Country representatives, those responsible for logistics, local businesses and many more people worked hard together to put together a whistle-stop tour that provides the travel writer with both essence and substance. I’ve ben very lucky, it’s a sad fact that in this economic climate a jobbing freelance photojournalist is lucky to be given any facilitated research time at all.

I’ve been to Cerro de Andevalo, Almonaster de Real, Moguer and Huelva City, been treated to a wonderful and intimate pena featuring the kind of fandango for which the area is both responsible and justly proud, experienced Cante Jondo in a Pena so seeped with tradition and excellence that its very walls resonated with the art, seen places of staggering beauty such as the shrines of Trinidad and El Rocio, eaten mouth-watering locally sourced food (both traditional and trad-fusion) visited the impressive Colombus sites and spoken with people who had such depth of talent, passion for and knowledge of flamenco that I wished I could have spent days learning from each.

Children going home at lunchtime in Almonaster la Real, Huelva, Spain. (c) Carole Edrich 2013

Children going home at lunchtime in Almonaster la Real, Huelva, Spain. (c) Carole Edrich 2013

I’ve discovered that Huelva’s a diverse and verdant beauty, abundant mineral wealth, pivotal geopolitical history and warm and welcoming people have all had a significant and lasting effect on its flamenco. I’ve learned enough for the features I’ve come here to research and have ideas for several more, and once I’ve satisfied those contracts I’ll post what I can on this blog.

Given the time constraints I think I got some adequate photos to go with them (we were very pressed for time which meant there was no time to wait for the right moment or even to think carefully about how to frame or show what I saw). Meanwhile I’m fantasizing about the images I could get here if, when I return, I’m given more time.

(because I’m on assignment I’m not able to post as regularly as I would like. I’ll make up for this on my return, but as a jobbing freelance journalist, gathering information and my own health must come first)