March 24, 2018 | 6.30 pm | C340, Serendipity Arts Foundation, Defence Colony, New Delhi
‘Photo Peshawar’ by authors Sean Foley and Lukas Birk explores the culture of photography in the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar from the late 1940s to the present day. Photography in Peshawar has historically and culturally found itself wedged between the multi-denominational Indian sub-continent and predominantly Muslim Afghanistan; and artistically it is caught between the creative and conservative forces of both. The result is a rich and largely unexplored photographic tradition, variously borne of British rule, the Partition of India, war in neighbouring Afghanistan, the rise of the Taliban, local tribal law, an historical prohibition on image-making in Islam, the practice of purdah, and the regional movie industry: a historically infused mixture in which there is a tangible stress between the practice of photography as it is pursued and the culture in which it is lived. The particular focus of this book is on photographers who work in two areas of Peshawar: Saddar Road, the relatively genteel and elite new city area, and Cinema Road, representing a more chawk-like energetic old city culture. There are also references to smaller enclaves which house studios such as those around Randaz Bazaar and Sikandar Pura. Between them, the photographers who work in these studios hold decades of experience, where expertise with both camera and paintbrush can overlap to stunning visual effect. The book is published by PIX publishing in collaboration with Mapin Publishing.