The Citizens Archive of Pakistan presents “The Humans of Karachi” – a Pakistani version of a photo project titled “Humans of New York” , which was initiated by Brandon Stanton over two years ago. It is only recently that his project went viral on Facebook and upon his encouragement, several artists started a “Humans of” series in their native cities. The photographer behind “Humans of Karachi” is Khaula Jamil, who is assisted by Kamran Bhai (KB) on every shoot. – Photos and captions by Khaula Jamil
A man poses outside his shop at Bohri Bazaar. There was something slightly surreal, slightly beautiful and well, slightly creepy about this.
"Sir, eik tasveer?" ("Sir, one picture?") "Madam, teen lo!" ("Madam, take three!")
After a few shots I asked him if he would, perhaps, smile for one shot. His reply: "I have taken several pictures of myself. This is my best camera look."
They told me ten of them, along with two water-coolers and a picnic basket in hand, came in a single rickshaw all the way from Karimabad. I challenged them to show me how and they agreed. Here they are – the family of ten in a rickshaw!
Satish is pictured here in a place tucked away by a few hundred feet from the hustle bustle of the metropolitan city life, where noises of urban culture have the ability to overpower even your thoughts. This tranquil place of worship, whose foundation was laid in 1943, predates even the country it sits in.
As we were crossing this beautiful shop there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to photograph its owner in it but when he came walking towards us, to be honest, I thought he would never agree to be photographed. Sometimes, one just asks anyway, prepared for not just a refusal but a lecture on the wrongness of photography too – and when your question is met with warmth and smiles instead you realise never to just assume and walk away ever again.
This is the 100th photograph of Humans of Karachi and it just had to be of a very special man and his friends. After a wonderful chat and some photographs later, I commented that he had a beautiful smile – so friendly and genuine. His friends immediately jumped in saying, "Madam, you have no idea, every person he meets absolutely adores him- he has this way with people that is almost magical." "Its no magic," said the red-bearded man, humbly, “for 66 years, if you stay happy in the head, you stay happy in the hear
Welcome to Itwaar (Sunday) Bazaar. Here we have a beautiful lady surrounded by endless knowledge, ready to be photographed (as long as I get her hair right).
Two very funky sisters who participated in the flash mob at Port Grand.
"My picture? What do I look like Katrina Kaif to you or something?" This was the girl's reply to us when we approach to photograph her.
This man at Empress Market asked for the best chicken in the shop to pose with, so his helper got him a pretty white one. Highly insulted he scolded him. "You want the world to see Haji Sahib holding a white chicken? What will people think of me! Get me the black one." Black chicken mythology anyone?.
"Seriously? There is a Humans of Karachi?" Usman replied when we asked him to pose. The Angry Birds eyebrows and frame of his glasses are just wow.
Driving by after a shoot in Saddar we crossed him. I managed to click just in time for what I thought would be a good shot of an old man selling cummerbunds (elastic). It was not until I was editing did I notice the broken eye glass – which I have to say – broke my heart a little too. Kudos to his resilience to still be out there, and what appears to be, earning a living for himself!