September Issue 2010

By | Society | Published 9 years ago

As Pakistan celebrated its 63rd year of independence, our national spirit seemed to be at an all-time low. The nation was reeling from the losses caused by the most devastating floods in the country’s history. As August 14 drew near, it was evident that Pakistanis needed a reminder of the beauty that our nation holds and all that needs to be preserved.

Hum TV took the initiative by hosting a photography competition at the Karachi Arts Council.

The competition featured the work of 12 amateur photographers whose entries had been selected out of hundreds to win cash prizes, as well as the chance to present their work before the nation via the channel’s coverage of the event.

The coveted first place was won by Sharjeel Ahmed of Karachi for capturing a magnificent shot of village immigrants weaving through sandy hills in interior Sindh, dwarfed by the landscape. The second place went to Ghulraiz Ghauri, and third was taken by Ghulam Rasool. The competition was judged by well-known photographers Tapu Javeri and Arif Mehmood, and the owner of Koel art gallery, artist Noor Jehan Bilgrami.

The contestants were given the freedom to capture any region of Pakistan and any subject of their choice that they felt best depicted the forgotten beauty of our country. This resulted in an exquisitely varied display of the top 12 photos that were put up on show. Some of the more memorable images included pictures of tough-looking street urchins against a backdrop of blurred fairy lights, young children playing in the rich, green valleys of the North, and a shot of a passenger bus transporting an interesting cargo of goats adorned with bells and collars. These pictures brought to the fore a soft side of Pakistan and its people that is seldom seen and even less remembered. The contestants made the effort to travel to far and away places to get that “perfect shot,” and the fruit of their labour was evident in the wonderful body of work that resulted.

The initiative by HumTV was commendable as it came at a time when it was much needed. The photography contest became an excuse for people to come and view pictures that re-instilled a sense of civic and national pride, and pulled at the heartstrings of our dormant patriotism. The event offered a refreshing change of context within which to view our country.