PAKISTAN ~ Karachi “Making of the Colonial Soup”

I grew up amidst an odd collection of photographic equipment, from homemade cameras made of discarded bombshells, to large and small format cameras at my grandparents home.  My induction into the world of visual storytelling has taken root over summer afternoons of boredom and curiosity. Trying to find a connection with the truth carried the evolving dialogue with the medium forward, through the analog era to the digital darkroom. The journey has been inevitably a solo one: marked by the intense desire to translate the inner experience into visual form. My pieces try to manifest the wonder of discovering hidden secrets of creation and the play of light and form. In comparison to my present digital art work, this body is starker, gritty and urbane. Stripped of color, the focus is on design, with straight edges and stark shadows. This is the world created by man, hard and ornamental, homage to the imperfect home, a city of duplicity, noble lines that speak of bondage and beauty, indifference and nostalgia.

Sometimes there is comfort in the uncomfortable … “apna Karachi”  the city of lights plus noise, pollution, garbage, gutters, politicians and unmentioned several others … the strange city realities comes with its own balm … growing up here while developing the senses to survive the concrete jungle, like a suburban animal who loves and knows his territory. The sound of sea reminds you … where you are? And where you belong? With a rush of usual smells … I say to myself  … “I am home and nothing else matters”.

Making of the Colonial Soup…

 Walking..

          In the old city

 Jotting notes

Clicking thoughts

 Along Bunder Road

No, it’s M A Jinnah Road

 Exploring

Kharadar.. Burns Road..

 Experiencing

Incredible glimpses

 Humming

In stone and timber

 Built for?

Built by?

Built in year etched on façade..

 Façade whispering

Stories of reading rooms

 Sipping

In tea houses

 Amidst the screaming

The chaos of rickshaws.. wagons.. carts.. buses

 Details peeping

From behind signboards..cobwebs..smoke..pan splashes

Walls crumbling..

 Lived in?

Used for?

Abandoned by?

Waiting for?

 The making of the Colonial Soup..

 So confusing..

 Not just walking

Thinking,

Hoping..dreaming..

 Just watching?

Just watching?

Just watching?

Clicking my city coping.

 

~ Moyena Niazi

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