• PHOTO PESHAWAR
  • PHOTO PESHAWAR
  • PHOTO PESHAWAR

PHOTO PESHAWAR

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Regular price
£34.00
Sale price
£34.00
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In Photo Peshawar authors Lukas Birk and Sean Foley explore the culture of photography in the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar from the 1940s to the present day.

With access to the archives of local photographers of genteel Saddar Road and traditional markets on Cinema Road, Photo Peshawar picks up on two major traditions: classic portraiture and risqué cinema-style role-playing, which allows clients to cast themselves as celebrated cultural archetypes found in both local Pashto-language films and Indian Bollywood films.

"The process of hand-colouring movie montages not only allowed for ‘colour photography’ before colour film was available, it also made the montages visibly more ‘real’ as the boundaries between movie poster and the client could be better concealed.”

Read more about the book in Huck Magazine.

Information
  • Publisher: PIX
  • Authors:  Lukas Birk is an Austrian artist who exhibits regularly and organises visual-media workshops. He has set up artist-in-residency programs in China and Indonesia and organised networks of local artists to co-operate with those in his native Austria. Sean Foley is an ethnographer from Ireland specialising in visual anthropology. He works as a researcher on art projects and has made ethnographic films on mortuary workers in India and tourism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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Reviews

The Story

Hand-coloured portraits

“Photographers are very precise in how to get the right kind of pose for a certain montage – it has to look realistic in the end. Working in film, the photographer would create a negative from the desired movie poster, cut out the male protagonist’s head and place the client’s head on top. This can be done by double exposure in the darkroom or actually placing the negative on top of the other. It’s very precise work!”

With the hand-coloured portraits, we see the men of Peshawar as they wish to be seen, as heroes of their fantasies and dreams. These, combined with the traditional portraits of Saddar Road, give us a look at a culture that very much mirrors our own. The glorification of self – through the rendering of montages that precede Photoshop by decades and the exquisite hand-colouring processes that herald our current obsession with Snapchat filters – is a universal human desire that photography repeatedly fulfils, no matter East or West. See full article on Huck.

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