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Joffre Stewart ~ Anarchist Poet and Non-Violent Activist

In his poem "Howl" Alan Ginsberg refers to Joffre Stewart as a man "with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing / out incomprehensible leaflets."


I had no idea that Ginsberg was prophesizing my first meeting on the street with Joffre.


Joffre Stewart is a dynamic and enigmatic guy.


He's got a kind soul and he seems like a decent human being even if you don't agree with his politics.


Like Ginsberg, I don't even understand Joffre's 'politics.'


Joffre and I both share a deep fondness for Henry David Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience' though.


"I think people would get along much better without cops, courts, jails, and taxes," he says. "I would like to pull down all the flags all over the world and burn them. These ideas inform my poetry."


Just like Alan Ginsberg wrote in 'Howl' so many years ago, I ran into Joffre Stewart when he handed me a leaflet on the street.


I took the opportunity to photograph him in the 'up close' way that I like to photograph people.


At the time, I had no idea who he really was.


Joffre dug the pictures though and his reaction was a great big smile.


I wrote his name down on the leaflet he handed me and I was pretty amazed when I googled him.


Joffre Stewart was on the Beatnik Party's 'anti-candidate ticket' for President in 1960.


I run into the most intriguing and fascinating people on the street.


They're the people that you walk by everyday... maybe without looking or without stopping...


you never know when you're passing up a chance to cross paths with history.


I only hope that these photographs do history justice.


Faces on the street

Chicago 9.3.11

35mm 1.8 cropped square anarchy reigns on the expo and contrast




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Taken on September 3, 2011