Photo Peshawar delves into the largely unexplored culture of photography in the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar from the 1940s to the present day. Photography in Peshawar has historically and culturally found itself caught between the creative and conservative forces of both India and Afghanistan. Variously borne of British rule, the partition of India, war in neighbouring Afghanistan, the rise of the Taliban, local tribal law, a historical prohibition on image-making in Islam, the practice of purdah (the veiling of females in public), and the regional movie industry, there is a tangible stress between the practice of photography as it is pursued and the culture in which it is lived.
With nearly one hundred and fifty photographs, each more stunning than the earlier, 'photography as craft is what this splendid volume examines - photography at the living, bleeding intersection of culture, war, frontier and fantasy, the sheer human inventiveness that results from a magnificent and tragic brew of technology and history'.
SEAN FOLEY, an Irish ethnographer specialising in visual anthropology, works as a researcher on art projects. He first made it to Afghanistan in 2002. Foley has made ethnographic films on mortuary workers in India, tourism in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and cultural ecology in the south of Greece. LUKAS BIRK is an Austrian artist, storyteller, and conservator. His multi-disciplinary projects have been turned into films, chronicles, books, and exhibitions. A large part of Birk's work deals with archival material he collects through travel or while delving into his own background.