This was the core feature of ‘Lahore Tasweer Nigaari Photography Exhibition’. The one of a kind exhibition was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Al Hamra Arts Gallery.
The project is the brainchild of Mohammad Talha Ghouri, a photographer from Karachi.
Talha started the tradition of mass photo walks in Karachi three years ago. He says, “My aim is not to document a city or anything, although that would be the educated answer. But I wish to create a fraternity of photographers, where everyone gets to socialise, where everyone knows each other.” This he believes helps all photographers to learn from each other and in the end, everyone benefits. Photo walks have been an old concept where 10 or 15 photographers get-together and spend a couple of hours photographing various subjects. Talha said, “We thought we’d take it a notch higher and give everyone who has even the slightest interest in photography, a chance to develop their skills.” According to him, this is the kind of exposure that helps photographers grow and develop skills and become better photographers. The exhibition held at Al Hamra was a result of a photo walk held on June 2, where 172 people participated. These people came from every walk of life and from every city of Pakistan, the metropolis as well as smaller towns such as Badin, Muridke and Rahim Yar Khan.
The photo walk was spread over eight hours and covered the Al Hamra Cultural Complex, Bazaar-e-Husn, Badshahi Masjid, Lahore Fort, Shahi Hammam and Wazir Khan Masjid. It was, however, Lahore Tasweer Nigaari’s first ever exhibition and the team leader, Talha said that Al Hamra Arts Council had been very accommodating and he thanked the gallery’s curator, Tanya Suhail for her support. “Tanya’s support encouraged us a lot. They allowed us to hold a focus group at the Al Hamra music and arts school as part of event promotion. They also gave us access to branding spaces free of cost.” Moreover, the Al Hamra Art Gallery has also agreed not to keep any commission from the sale of any of the photographs.
On the other hand, the organising team of Lahore Tasweer Nigaari offered the participants various merchandise and free lunch to motivate them. “And the rest took care of itself,” added Talha. Renowned professional photographers such as Yasir Nisar, Faisal Hafeez Taqi, Agha Abbas and Baba Dodi supervised and guided the photographers, who were encouraged to capture their very own personal perspectives through the camera. In the end, from among the almost thousand photographs that the participants of the Lahore Tasweer Nigaari photo walk took, a hundred were short listed. From those hundred, a final 80 photographs were chosen by a jury to be displayed at the exhibition. The exhibition will continue till July 31.