At Pakistan Photo Festival, Fellows Learn to Think and Critique

The second week of Pakistan Photo Festival ended on a joyful note. A sound sense of understanding, harmony and dedication was evident among the members of the fellowship. Different stories were shared, experimental ideas were discussed and also healthy discussions were carried out to instill confidence and ability to withstand critique.

The members were encouraged and asked by the Mentors to work on a documentary project of their choice, which once completed would be exhibited on the final day of Pakistan Photo Festival program. The fellows learnt from the speakers and their fellow participants on how to think and pitch a project with a profound meaning.

The sessions were conducted by Asim Rafiqui, Shah Zaman Baloch, Wendy Marijnissen and Matthieu Paley. They shared their work, the histories of different documentaries and criticized their own projects to help the participants analyze and understand things from a creator’s point of view.


“You are not going to history search, We are working with life. And life has no boundaries.”

Said Asim during one of his presentation.

Furthermore, during the sessions, Asim also discussed and highlighted the stunning work of some not-so-famous but definitely smart photographers who are exploring, gathering stories from the globe and working hard each day to make a dent in the world. The list included people like Rob Hornstra and Fazal Sheikh.

Rob Hornstra (1975) is a Dutch photographer and head of the photography department at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). He has published several books of solo work, produced documentary series for a variety of international magazines, and taken part in numerous solo and group exhibition in the Netherland and abroad.

 Fazal Sheikh is an artist who uses photographs to document people living in displaced and marginalized communities around the world. His principal medium is the portrait, although his work also encompasses personal narratives, found photographs, archival material, sound, and his own written texts. He works from the conviction that a portrait is, as far as possible, an act of mutual engagement, and only through a long-term commitment to a place and to a community can a meaningful series of photographs be made.

Asim also introduced a framework of document process, which should ideally include the execution summary, ideal subjects, and resources etc.

Wendy asked participants to choose a photographer and critique one of their projects. This practice helped fellows think through and come up with ideas and learnings.

We believe Pakistan Photo Festival is small initiative to let the youth of Pakistan explore new dimensions within themselves. Our goal is to enable as many young photographers and photojournalists as possible to work in a professional environment under the mentorship of international photographers to help them aspire and create meaningful impact by working on social issues that strongly need to be entertained and addressed.

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Pakistan Photo Festival is the 1st international photography festival showcasing work of regional, national and international photographers, in Pakistan. Pakistan photo festival is a unique festival, which will call for the photography with narratives and stories of the globe. The idea is to introduce and cherish a unique form of Photography and to expose the various narratives on social, cultural, ethnic perspectives and distinct issues of human rights struggles and challenges.