Summer of ’88

Little did I know in the start of that summer it was my last one in Lahore. By the fall of same year I was 6,300 km away on British Council fellowship at Chelsea School of Arts. Then I was teaching photography at NCA. Most afternoons,after college, I would traipse the city to discover new places, sample food, drink copious quantities of sugarcane juice with lemon and ginger, and to photograph people.

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Filing cabinet pet-named Gold

If you have stored your treasures of archived negatives and slides like I have, hung systematically in a filing cabinet, I dare you to lift them out. Even a cursory glance using your naked eyes, will bring you face to face with those captured moments. Be prepared for a time travel ride in a golden carriage; the images have that magic.

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Socially distant life-drawing

Covid in its wake brought separation and gloom, the silver lining however has been the time to zoom into Self. Hard for people like me who rely on connectivity, through life drawing and my healing practice, social distancing meant both these activities came to a standstill.

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1001 UnMasked ~ hyper-real portraits of gender

1001 UnMasked ~ hyper-real portraits of gender brings together individual perspectives on gender and sexualities aurally and visually. What does it mean to be a man or a woman in the 21st century? What are the spaces in between these binaries?  What is masculinity or femininity other than a culturally specific performance?

Till early last year I was calling this body of work Mas(k)culinities for reasons that seemed right at the time. Masculinity is stigmatized and problematized and I sought different sexualities to explore the breadth of being male. During this period voices and images of women were included to elaborate masculinity from their perspective. Soon I realized that fissures and scars caused by these simplistic binaries run very deep within all of us. Obliged to play out the ‘normative’ roles assigned from the time of our births onwards, is a patriarchal hegemony that has to be challenged. Individual point of views that encompass realities beyond dictates of the mainstream is the only way to disrupt this control. We have to create safe spaces for celebrating the ‘human’ in all its manifestations rather than be threatened by difference. Continue reading 1001 UnMasked ~ hyper-real portraits of gender