This Pakistani Photographer's Portrayal Of Forced Marriages Will Leave You Absolutely Shaken

By Sajeer Shaikh | 22 Jul, 2017

Rida Shah, a Pakistani photographer, is a concept based photo-manipulation artist.

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

Rida uses her talent to highlight the flaws that exist in our society.

She hopes that by shining a light on these flaws, she can start a conversation around them that may lead to their eventual resolution. Therefore, she chose a topic that tackles a deeply rooted issue in our society. Her next project revolves around forced marriages in Pakistan.

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

The images are hauntingly captivating. Moreover, they depict the dark side of marriage that is often swept under the rug. 

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

Additionally, her description for the images explains her stance on forced marriages.

Rida mentions how it’s surprising that countless unfair practices are followed in our society, even by educated families. She believes that forcing your child to marry someone without their consent is one such practice.

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

In addition to the images, Rida outlines some commonly used phrases that families use to force their young ones into marriage:

Abhi nahi pasand toh kya hua? Ek baar nikkah kardo. Sab theek hojayega.”

Bacha hai toh kya hua? Parhai likhayi shadi ke baad karlega.”

Does any of this sound familiar?

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

While the photographer appreciates that parents can offer wise suggestions, she believes that consent is integral. 

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

Her words ring true when we reflect upon the lives of those who are seen as puppets by their parents.

The concept of forced marriages isn’t unheard of in our society. The practice doesn’t discriminate between the rich or the poor. It is one that has been prevalent for the longest time. Rida knows that her photographs will not end the practice. However, her attempt to highlight this practice is undeniably impactful.

Source: Rida Shah’s Photography/

What is your take on these photographs and the topic itself? Do you know of anyone stuck in an unhappy forced marriage? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Cover image via: Rida Shah’s Photography/

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