Monday, May 17, 2010

letters from a jilted lover

This is probably one of my favourite titles of a photo essay. I have grown slightly weary with poetic and lyrical writing from the subcontinent, but this one still resonates. Asim Rafiqui is a amazing, and I hope to meet him someday.

Quetta, 2007
Letters from a jilted lover
Asim Rafiqui

Pakistan is one of the most photographed but least seen countries in the world. Thousands of photographers have passed through here with eyes that are intense, sensationalist but narrow. As a consequence, it is also one of the least understood countries in the world.

Its citizens have a troubled and contradictory relationship with it. They lament the state of the country but never stop believing in a better tomorrow. They are frequently overcome by despair, and yet continue to find ways to speak of possibilities. It is a relationship that is heart breaking and yet always true.

Even those who leave or place themselves in a self-imposed exile elsewhere, cannot simply walk away, put away the feelings, stop the pain, or block the hopes. It is a turbulent love affair, and for some a destructive one.

We all keep coming back though. I keep coming back; looking, seeing, feeling and making small, personal pictures that are each like a letter to a callous lover; gentle, complaining, asking for nothing but always offering myself if I would just be given an opportunity.


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