Monday, October 25, 2021

A Pakistan Photographer Rushes to Save the Past - The New York Times

Last updated Wednesday, October 6, 2021 02:46 ET , Source: TopWireNews

LAHORE, Pakistan — Before Shahid Zaidi was born, before his home was an independent country, his father opened a portrait studio and captured the nation’s emerging history.
His father, Syed Mohammad Ali Zaidi, captured a Hindu couple in 1939. The man wore a conservative double-breasted suit, hair slicked, while the woman sported a sari, with earrings dangling and bangles on her wrists, the exact colors eluding the black-and-white negative.
The next year he captured a Muslim couple, Mansoor and Nuzhat Muzaffar, the bride in a shimmer-trimmed shalwar kameez and a matha patti, an ornamental headpiece, and the groom resplendent in a qulla, a wedding turban.
Word spread about his studio, and Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi’s customers began to include the elite of the new nation of Pakistan. He photographed Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the lawyer turned separatist who became the modern country’s founder. He photographed Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister, who was cut down by an assassin’s bullets in 1951.
Shahid Zaidi, 79, wants to preserve that history. He has assembled a small team to create digital versions of the images his father began capturing at his studio in Lahore 91 years ago. He aims to put the complete collection online so that families can find their ancestors and explore Pakistan’s coming-of-age.
“It’s my responsibility,” said Mr. Zaidi. “We have images that belong to somebody. They may want them or never want them. That’s beside the point. As far as I’m concerned, I owe...

Read Full Story: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/world/asia/pakistan-photo-history.html

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