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German photographer, Manolo Ty, answers a visitor’s queries. — White Star
German photographer, Manolo Ty, answers a visitor’s queries. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: A new book that captures the energy and character of the people of Pakistan was launched by German photographer Manolo Ty on Thursday.

The National Art Gallery, which collaborated with Mr Ty, also displayed some of his photographs. Instead of displaying images based on how well they are composed or how aesthetically pleasing they are, the selection emphasises the narratives that can be embodied by photography, particularly diversity.

Manolo Ty, who studied economics, found his passion to be photography. He said he did not know the specifics of photography, and learnt and grew as a photographer through trial and error over the last 11 years.

Captured between 2013 and 2014, the 276 photographs that make up Pakistani Now were taken in over 25 locations and, together with stories and observations, chart Mr Ty’s journey into unknown territory.

According to the photographer, the collection shows the present perspective of a remarkable country in casual photographs. Shot using a Canon 5D with a 50mm prime lens, Mr Ty took three years to compile the images into his book.

Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director General Jamal Shah said: “He is not a technical person, that is what makes him human and the images so natural.”

He said the casual photographs captured the true Pakistan. Visitors to the gallery saw photographs of veiled women, armed men, vendors, decaying archaeological heritage, children, ship-breaking factories and the landscape of southern Pakistan.

Mr Ty also answered questions and signed his book.

“The diversity and archaeological heritage are simply breathtaking. I would urge Pakistanis to take ownership and preserve it,” he said.

Mr Ty, who has photographed nearly 80 countries, said he chose to highlight Pakistan because the outside world knows little about the country or has an inaccurate image of it.

One of the guests who bought the book, Zulfikar Ali, said he purchased it because he is a collector and liked some of the images, while Mariam Nasir said the book would make a good coffee table book.

Another guest, Shahzeb Farooq, claimed the images showed a poor and poverty-stricken face of Pakistan, to which Mr Ty responded that the images captured the true culture, traditional and heritage of the country, which Pakistanis need to embrace and showcase.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2017