It was an unusual mix. Two priests, a nun, two devout Catholics, and me, a heathen. We cooked and cleaned and shared small tasks, and important for me, I paid a rent of only eight pounds a week. I was never sure on what criteria I had been accepted into the ‘community’ but as I was working my way through university, I was happy to accept. We lived in the Catholic chaplaincy of Liverpool University, just opposite the Students Union Building. Living smack in the middle of campus also meant I had no transport costs.
There was no way my schoolteacher mum and government servant dad, could pay for their son’s overseas education, so I was on my own and money was always tight. I worked weekends, holidays, and evenings to pay for my student fees and my keep.
We spot a lens peering at us from the corner of our eye. Immediately we straighten up, fix our hair, smooth the rough in our clothes, consciously make – or avoid – eye contact. Only the well trained is able to visibly avoid responding to the camera?s presence. The professional photographer prides in her ability to take ?natural? photographs, where her intervention is invisible. Yet, peering through family albums, wedding folders or a Facebook status we find ourselves actively inviting the portrayal of how we want to be seen. Whether we consider a photograph of ourselves to be ?good? largely depends on how well the photographer has represented us, as we would want it. As such the photographer?s success depends not so much on her aesthetic sense or insight, but on her ability to please the sitter. While this applies to the casual portraitist, it is much more true of the professional photographer. Her bread and butter depend on a satisfied client and as such, are driven by an external agenda. Whether it be a corporation, or an NGO or a newly wed couple, a good photographer is one who delivers what is required. Continue reading “Embracing the Amateur”
There?s an electricity in the moon. A pulse, a magic, an energy. A bewitching entrancement unlike that of the sun.
The moon is for things unseen, things done in the shadows and beneath the fog. Under bridges and beneath bed sheets ? it?s for wild hearts and unconcerned minds. It?s where plans are made in dark alleyways and secrets revealed under the soft haze of light coming through the cracks of closed shutters.
If you leaf through our family album the first ten years of my life were spent in black and white and predominantly in our living room yet my memories of those years are full of colour.
Hamid Ziarati, Iranian writer Iranian Living Room?is the first of a series of editorial projects self-published by Fabrica. Continue reading “The Iranian Living Room”
A lungi clad rickshaw-puller stopped at the entry of Baridhara in the capital yesterday. Security workers do not let rickshaw-pullers in lungi into the posh neighbourhood following instructions from the association of Baridhara home owners. Photo: Star
Rickshaw-pullers in traditional Bangalee outfit, lungi, are barred from entering the capital?s Baridhara, one of the country?s most posh neighbourhoods where diplomats and affluent people live. Continue reading “Ban slapped on lungi clad rickshaw-pullers”
Pablo Bartholomew ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
What is about Chobi Mela that makes it special and important?
So what makes me come back to Chobi Mela, this pioneering festival for photography in Asia? It is the question that I ask myself, now that I am here in Dhaka setting up both my father?s and my exhibitions. Obviously it is the opportunity to show the works and be part of discussions that may provide and lead up to good dialogues and debates. But the fact that the last time I was here was such an important reference point is something that I would like to share. Continue reading “Chobi Mela VII: Dhaka revisited”