Special issue on Pakistan

Surge: Pakistan

11 January 2015

Asef Ali Mohammad, From the series The Plight of the Hazara People

Surge is an exploration the evolving relationship between art practice, documentary tropes and citizenship in Pakistan. The issue speculates a renewed understanding of the future of photo-practice withina country that has witnessed a swiftly evolving ‘state’, leading to a range of activity around personal expressionand social awareness. With an eye to history, as well asto the contemporary, the issue features an assortment of submissions in order to embrace the present surfeitof visuals and works that reconstruct an understanding of image-based practices in Pakistan, acknowledging ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’ as a means ofcreative departure, striving to unhinge stereotypes often created through pictures in the public domain.

With support from PioneersPost_BritishCouncil_logo_1



Pakistan: Emerging Strains In Photography

Salima Hashmi & Tehmina Ahmed

Photography in Pakistan has been used in modern times primarily as a photojournalistic medium, although the visual documentation of its living folk traditions, landscapes and monuments has occupied photographers since its early history. As an artform however, photography began to emerge only in...

The Cusp

Arif Mahmood

As photographers in Pakistan today, we are fortunate given the steady growth of the profession but shoulder great responsibility while standing at a cross-roads or a “half line” of a moment in the evolution of the arts, and photography as an integral part of it. Many young and dynamic voices...

Rewriting Photography

Rahaab Allana

Where literacy became rule, the scribe disappeared. –John Szarkowski Suspended in mid-air in an apartment somewhere in Lahore, a couple languorously floats towards one another, composed in the same manner as an oil painting made by Marc Chagall, originally titled Birthday (1915). Location,...

Decisive Arrangements

Philippe Calia

How many books, articles and manuals are supposed to give us the answer to ‘what makes a good photograph’? More often than not, practitioners seem to have chosen the ‘decisive moment’ as their motto, sometimes without really being aware of it. A large part of the work produced today in...

The Purveyor Of Truths

Tanvi Mishra

The portrait, whether painted by an artist or shot by a photographer, has always been an effort to momentarily capture in that instant; more than what meets the eye. The act of making the portrait – the interaction that precedes the final image captured on film – is a calculated attempt...

One Picture, One Cannes

Insiya Syed

You’re at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart. – Franz Kafka If the world were made into a movie, Pakistan would likely play the character of someone that is full of soul but who is greatly misunderstood. An actor with all the conventional characteristics of being...



Amber Hammad

Of Our Boat That is Made of Flowers

Asad Hayee

The Plight of the Hazara People

Asef Ali Mohammad

Lahore Mental Asylum

Aun Raza

‘Stringing together the Rose Crumbs’

Mariam Ibraaz

Two Sides Of A Picture

Sana Khan*

Paradise: Swat Valley

Edwin Koo

Ganda Nala

Malcolm Hutcheson

Peaceful Days in Lahore

Marylise Vigneau

Brick Bonds

Saptarshi Sanyal


Tooraj Khamenezadeh