Pakistan Photo Festival: Documentary photography on street exhibition in Lahore

1 / 5
Passersby stop to take a look at the PPF photo exhibition at Canal Metro Station. (Photo courtesy: PPF)
2 / 5
Artwork displayed at Lahore’s Kalma Chowk Metro Station. (Photo courtesy: PPF)
3 / 5
Documentary photography on street exhibition in Lahore. (AN photo by Shafiq Malik)
4 / 5
Close up of the artwork. (Photo courtesy: PPF)
5 / 5
Documentary photography on street exhibition in Lahore. (AN photo by Shafiq Malik)
Updated 18 February 2018
0

Pakistan Photo Festival: Documentary photography on street exhibition in Lahore

LAHORE: The Pakistan Photo Festival (PPF) on Saturday launched its three-day street exhibition in Lahore showcasing creative documentary photography on pressing social issues.
The creative work of nine young talented photographers from across Pakistan and abroad drew the attention of commuters and the general public at the Kalma Chowk and the Canal metro stations in the city.
The photographers, who participated in a seven-month long fellowship in Lahore, produced thought-provoking projects on some of the most pressing social, economic, legal and rights struggles of the country, said a press release issued by the PPF last week before the exhibition.
World-renowned photographers Matthieu Paley, Asim Rafiqui, Didier Ruef, Mahesh Shantaram, Wendy Marijnissen and Shah Zaman Baloch mentored the aspiring young artists through extensive brain storming sessions in a bid to “contribute to the social fabric of society through the art form of photography,” read the Facebook page of the organization.
Mentored by Matthieu Paley, a National Geographic contributor from France, PPF participant Salman Alam Khan captured the colorful diversity of Narayanapura — one of Pakistan’s most significant compounds situated in Karachi city — in his project “Knitted Beliefs.”
“The Walled Street Journal” by Ema Anis presented life inside the gated community while Nida Mehboob undertook a compelling project named “Shadow Lives” on the discrimination faced by minority communities of the country. Her mentor was Wendy Marijnissen, a freelance documentary photographer from Belgium.
The PPF organizers have a strong reason for shifting the exhibition from traditional art galleries to metro bus stations.
“Only the elite visits the art galleries and common people have no access to those places. Metro stations are frequented by people of all classes and social backgrounds, by about 1.3 million people a day,” said Faizan Adil, a participant and organizer of the exhibition while talking to Arab News.
Adil produced a thought-provoking project titled “Industry of Dissolving Portraits” about nursing homes in Pakistan, mentored by Matthieu Paley.
London-based visual artist, Shaista Chishty, titled her project “One Pound in My Pocket,” which retraces one family’s journey from Pakistan to the UK after partition (secession of Pakistan from United India under British rule). She was mentored by Wendy Marijnissen.
Maryam Altaf, a Lahore-based photographer, put together a project on how ride-hailing services have subtly changed the economic landscape of the country. Her project, based on the stories of several drivers, is named “Conversations in Transit,” and was mentored by Asim Rafiqui, an independent photographer.
Aziz Changezi, from Quetta, completed a project titled “Scavenging for Wealth” on how recycling provides livelihood to families in Pakistan. His mentor was Didier Ruef, a documentary photographer based in Switzerland.
Faizan Ahmad, a storyteller who completed his project “From the Metro Bus: The Uncommon Stories of the Common People,” in which he highlighted the voice of the ordinary people. His mentor was also Didier Ruef.
Ramis Abbas is a Lahore-based artist. His mentor was Mahesh Shantaram, a photographer from India. His project, “The Past that Could Not Be,” is for students to help them imagine a kind of campus where they have a collective, consolidated, and legal political space.
In Pakistan, where most photography exhibitions are attached with the stigma of niche audiences and lack the trend of exhibition in public spaces, the PPF exhibition has achieved through this fellowship the goal to build a stronger social documentary photography practice in Pakistan by helping these selected individuals, note the organizers.


Mass tourism threatens Croatia’s ‘Game of Thrones’ town

Updated 21 September 2018
0

Mass tourism threatens Croatia’s ‘Game of Thrones’ town

DUBROVNIK, Croatia: Marc van Bloemen has lived in the old town of Dubrovnik, a Croatian citadel widely praised as the jewel of the Adriatic, for decades, since he was a child. He says it used to be a privilege. Now it’s a nightmare.
Crowds of tourists clog the entrances to the ancient walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as huge cruise ships unload thousands more daily. People bump into each other on the famous limestone-paved Stradun, the pedestrian street lined with medieval churches and palaces, as fans of the popular TV series “Game of Thrones” search for the locations where it was filmed.
Dubrovnik is a prime example of the effects of mass tourism, a global phenomenon in which the increase in people traveling means standout sites — particularly small ones — get overwhelmed by crowds. As the numbers of visitors keeps rising, local authorities are looking for ways to keep the throngs from killing off the town’s charm.
“It’s beyond belief, it’s like living in the middle of Disneyland,” says van Bloemen from his house overlooking the bustling Old Harbor in the shadows of the stone city walls.
On a typical day there are about eight cruise ships visiting this town of 2,500 people, each dumping some 2,000 tourists into the streets. He recalls one day when 13 ships anchored here.
“We feel sorry for ourselves, but also for them (the tourists) because they can’t feel the town anymore because they are knocking into other tourists,” he said. “It’s chaos, the whole thing is chaos.”
The problem is hurting Dubrovnik’s reputation. UNESCO warned last year that the city’s world heritage title was at risk because of the surge in tourist numbers.
The popular Discoverer travel blog recently wrote that a visit to the historic town “is a highlight of any Croatian vacation, but the crowds that pack its narrow streets and passageways don’t make for a quality visitor experience.”
It said that the extra attention the city gets from being a filming location for “Game of Thrones” combines with the cruise ship arrivals to create “a problem of epic proportions.”
It advises travelers to visit other quaint old towns nearby: “Instead of trying to be one of the lucky ones who gets a ticket to Dubrovnik’s sites, try the delightful town of Ohrid in nearby Macedonia.”
In 2017, local authorities announced a “Respect the City” plan that limits the number of tourists from cruise ships to a maximum of 4,000 at any one time during the day. The plan still has to be implemented, however.
“We are aware of the crowds,” said Romana Vlasic, the head of the town’s tourist board.
But while on the one hand she pledged to curb the number of visitors, Vlasic noted with some satisfaction that this season in Dubrovnik “is really good with a slight increase in numbers.” The success of the Croatian national soccer team at this summer’s World Cup, where it reached the final, helped bring new tourists new tourists.
Vlasic said that over 800,000 tourists visited Dubrovnik since the start of the year, a 6 percent increase from the same period last year. Overnight stays were up 4 percent to 3 million.
The cruise ships pay the city harbor docking fees, but the local businesses get very little money from the visitors, who have all-inclusive packages on board the ship and spend very little on local restaurants or shops.
Krunoslav Djuricic, who plays his electric guitar at Pile, one of the two main entrances of Dubrovnik’s walled city, sees the crowds pass by him all day and believes that “mass tourism might not be what we really need.”
The tourists disembarking from the cruise ships have only a few hours to visit the city, meaning they often rush around to see the sites and take selfies to post to social media.
“We have crowds of people who are simply running,” Djuricic says. “Where are these people running to?“