Surge: Pakistan | Special issue on Pakistan


Golden ticket.
Golden ticket.

From the series American Dream by Nariman Ansari, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA July, 2011, Digital



For the forthcoming Special Issue on Pakistan, PIX would like to explore the evolving relationship between art- practice, documentary tropes and citizenship—its craving of a unique spirit, mannerism and means of expression through photography.

Pakistan’s place in South Asia is as ‘strategic’, as it is about an inquiry into its regional character, conditioned by changing regimes as well as a current generation that is exposed to transformations in communication modes and technology. Consequently, the future of practice-oriented media like photography will also change how and what
 one sees within its socio-political and cultural sphere— through reportage and artistic developments of known and unknown practitioners. We endorse the notion that photography as a means of the everyday has led, globally, to an unprecedented expansion of a democratized way of scrutinizing and analyzing places, events and ideas, often in location specific ways.

With a general emphasis on the sentiment of ‘kismet’— that of fate or fortune, the issue speculates a renewed understanding of the future of photo-practice within
 a country that has witnessed a swiftly evolving ‘state’, leading to a range of activity around personal expression and social awareness. With an eye to history, as well as to the contemporary, the issue invites an assortment of submissions in order to embrace the present surfeit of visuals. Seeking to explore beyond our common geographical ties, we invite works that could reconstruct an understanding of image-based practices in Pakistan, acknowledging ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’ as a means of creative departure, striving to unhinge stereotypes often created through pictures in the public domain.

We therefore propose some searching questions about practice and reception such as: what does photography
 here tell us of ideologically constructed visual tropes, the processes of nation-building, modernization and cultural heritage as well as the local/global politics of representation? And how does this practice help in developing an identity?

Last Date For Submissions: July 20, 2014 for the Pakistan issue