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Jim Haynes (1933 - )

Related: sixties counterculture - Wet Dream Film Festival (1970-1971) - International Times magazine

Jim Haynes
photo sourced here.

Writer, Traveller, Publisher, Paris Sunday Dinner Host


James Haynes, usually known as Jim Haynes, was a leading figure in the London "underground" and alternative/counter-culture scene of the 1960s. He was involved with the founding of the paper International Times and the London Arts Lab in Drury Lane for experimental and mixed media work.

Jim Haynes was born in Louisiana, US, where he attended university (after some years in Venezuela). Through obligatory military service he relocated to Scotland in 1956, went to Edinburgh University and, among other writing and musical activities, helped in the foundation of the Traverse Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In 1966 he relocated to London in the middle of the "swinging 60s" and became heavily involved in the underground cultural scene, co-founding the pivotal alternative paper International Times, known as "I.T.", along with others including Barry Miles and John Hopkins. In September 1967 He co-founded the Arts Lab space for mixed-media (it closed 15 months later after infighting over finances). In 1969 in Amsterdam he co-launched Suck newsaper for sexual freedom. It was also obtainable in the UK. The first issue contained a long and unrestrainedly descriptive erotic poem attributed to W.H.Auden and an explicit photo of Germaine Greer. Haynes then taught Media Studies and Sexual Politics for 30 years at the University of Paris 8. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Haynes [Jul 2006]


I was born in Louisiana, moved to Venezuela aged 10, boarding school in Atlanta, university in Louisiana and then moved to Scotland in 1956. I attended the University of Edinburgh, started a bookshop and gallery (The Paperback), the Traverse Theatre and participated in the creation of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I helped to create The Hospitality Exchange. Moving to London in 1966 I co-created the London Traverse Theatre Company, co-launched the newspaper, “I.T.” and the mixed-media space, the Arts Lab. Having produced over 250 theatre productions, I was awarded The Whitbread Prize in 1966. In 1969 I co-launched the sexual freedom newspaper, Suck, and directed the Wet Dream Film Festival - both in Amsterdam. In the same year the newly created University of Paris 8 invited me to be a professor where I taught Media Studies and Sexual Politics for thirty years. Together with Cathy Sroufe, we launched a Sunday salon in my Paris atelier. Also in Paris, I created the kitchen-table publishing house, Handshake Editions, the audio magazine The Cassette Gazette, and began to write and to publish books. For many years I have attended the Cannes Film Festival (25 times), the Edinburgh Festival (45 times), the Warsaw “Jazz Jamboree” (10 times), the Lahti Writers’ Reunion (8 times), the Belgrade October Meeting (5 times), the Frankfurt Book Fair (36 times) and many other film festivals (Berlin ,Budapest, Telluride, Gdynia and Moscow ). My books include an autobiography, Thanks for Coming! (Faber & Faber, 1984), Hello, I Love You!, Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working!, Everything Is!, and the travel series, People to People (Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, Russia and the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). The People to People series was honored by the London-based Institute for Social Inventions.

Almost every Sunday evening, there is a dinner party in my Paris atelier to which anyone may come. The first fifty or so people to call are welcome. During the dinners people meet people from all corners of the world. (All share the expenses. Any extra goes to help various friends and projects.) To come, call on Saturday or Sunday when you're in Paris and join us. --Jim Haynes via http://www.jim-haynes.com/ [Apr 2005]

Thanks for coming!: An autobiography (1984) - Jim Haynes

Thanks for coming!: An autobiography (1984) - Jim Haynes [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Jim as a boy in military school uniform

I had a happy childhood. I was born on 10 November 1933 at 6 a.m. in Haynesville, Louisiana but we moved five months later to Shreveport. We lived in a middle-class neighborhood. My mother and father entertained a lot — they had a modest little house. It wasn’t anything big but it was always overflowing with people. My mother loved to be surrounded by people, she loved people. My father liked to drink. But I have always remembered one of the things he said to me: ‘When you do something nice for someone, forget it immediately. When someone does something nice for you, never forget it.’

I made friends easily but I liked being alone too. I used to devour books. I used to read a lot secretly late at night with a flashlight or a candle and listen to radio programs like I Love a Mystery, which used to scare the piss out of me every time I heard it. It was a really nice childhood, trouble free. I used to break a lot of bones and I was a chocaholic. I broke out in red spots all over my body and I adored women.

When I was about 13 my father took a job in the oil fields of eastern Venezuela. San Tome is an oil-field camp city in the middle of nowhere. There were two kinds of social life: the country club and the tennis club, with nice girls and dances and parties and sports, and the local brothels. I quickly discovered the brothels, where I learned to dance and drink rum and make love — well, this was the age of ‘good girls/bad girls’. --http://www.jim-haynes.com/BooksbyJim/TFC-chapters/Ch_1.htm [Apr 2005]


Jim Haynes was born in Haynesville, Louisiana and began travelling several months later. He was schooled in Louisiana, Venezuela, Georgia and at the universities of Louisiana, Tulane, Edinburgh and Paris.

In 1959 he created ‘The Paperback Bookshop” and in 1962, The Traverse Theatre — both in Edinburgh — where he lived for nine years. He co-organized The Writers’ Conference (with John Calder and Sonia Orwell) in 1962 and The Drama Conference (with John Calder and Ken Tynan) in 1963 for the Edinburgh International Festival.

In London he co-founded The London Traverse Theatre Company (1965), the newspaper I.T. (1966), the UFO Environment (1966) and the Arts Laboratory (1967). Having produced over 200 theatre productions, in 1966 he was awarded the “Whitbread Prize” for “outstanding contribution to theatre in Britain”.

In 1969, he published (with Gemaine Greer, Bill Levy, Willem de Ridder, Heathcote Williams and others) the newspaper. SUCK, First European Sexpaper, in Amsterdam with the aim of “treating sexuality in a tender, loving and unashamedly erotic light”. The world’s first erotic film festivals. The Wet Dream Film Festival, in Amsterdam in 1970, 1971 and 1972 were under his direction.

In 1969 he accepted a Visiting Professorship to lecture at the new experimental University of Paris VIII and he continued until 1999 In 1974 he co-edited (with Jeanne Pasle-Green) the hook Hello, I Love You! In 1978 he published Workers of the World Unite and Stop Working! — a Reply to Marxism. He co-founded a video research foundation, Videoheads (with Jack Henry Moore) in London in 1968. With Jack Henry Moore, he edited an audiocassette “magazine”, The Cassette Gazette (which appears from time to time).

In 1978 he launched “Project: EATS” (with Cathy Sroufe) and it continues every Sunday in Paris in his atelier. Some 100.000 people have attended and many friendships and love affairs have resulted.

On the 28 February 1980, he founded Handshake Editions. His four books: More Romance, Less Romantism, Homage to Henry Miller, Everything Is! and Around the World in 33 Days have been published by Handshake. In 1984, Faber & Faber published his autobiography. Thanks for Coming! Volume 2 is in preparation. He has also edited five People to People travel guides to ten Eastern European countries and Russia. This series was awarded a prize from the Institute of Social Inventions in London.

He was once married to Viveka Reuterskold, a delightful and sensitive lady from Stockholm, and they co-produced a son, James Jesper. (Jesper is a photographer and lives in Manhattan.) Jim plans to live indefinitely in Paris and welcomes visitors (especially warm and tender people). He also welcomes letters and feedback. --http://www.jim-haynes.com/BooksbyJim/ETI.htm [Sept 2004]

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