This Artist Is Capturing Pakistani Women In Their Everyday Lives And The Results Are Beautiful

By Rameeza Ahmad | 7 Sep, 2018

Shirin Ahmed is a photographer who has set out to take pictures of Pakistani women in their own element.

Shirin is from Pakistan but has spent the last 5 years in China doing her MFA in Photography from the Beijing Film Academy. She is fluent in Mandarin and has an extensive portfolio to her name. She has recently returned to Pakistan and is now trying to establish herself as a photographer here.

For her thesis, Shirin decided to focus on women and photograph them in their natural elements.

Shirin commented that in Pakistan, photographers are usually seen as hobbyists and are usually severely underpaid for their craft. And she hopes that this changes soon.

Her thesis titled ‘Deconstructing Unconventional Domestic Spaces Occupied by Women in Urban Pakistan’ is a way for us to view women in domestic and spaces and otherwise within Pakistan.

The project just photographs women in their element. This may be in a car, in a kitchen or drinking chai. It’s just natural.

According to Shirin, all she does is form a bond with her photography subjects and the conversations which result are organic and a result of the women who are being photographed becoming comfortable with her.

As important as the pictures are the captions that accompany them.

Shirin is shooting her project exclusively with analog film because she feels like these images and stories cannot have the same archival value had they been digital.

The project aims at getting the narratives of different Pakistani women for everyone to read.

The conversations which resulted are incredibly interesting. From women talking about their privilege to women talking about their male family members who feel they have a right to control the women.

Her project of shooting women is a demonstration of her three years thesis, of using photography as a feminist endeavor. She wants to show women who are defying traditional definitions of femininity, domestic life and more.

What is so striking about Shirin’s photographs is how they aren’t overly posed or edited at all. They are raw images with raw conversations. And a lot of Pakistani women will see that they identify with her project. This is what Shirin intended. The subjects of her photographs are not known faces, they can be anyone, they can be you or her or them. It’s everyone and anyone.

What do you think about Shirin’s project? Let us know in the comments.

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Cover Image Source: @_thewrongalice_ via Instagram

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