Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Stargazing in Lahore: An Overview

A day before I flew out to Lahore I went to Argos and bought three large boxes of duracell batteries for my cheap second-hand Olympus camera. Although I didn't quite have a plan for what I would being doing in Pakistan for the next three months, I did know that I would be taking a lot of pictures. I have always been interested in photography and the powerful role images can play in challenging views, changing perceptions and facilitating change. Over the last few years I have worked on various writing, art and photography projects all of which have sought to override shallow and reductive representations of certain nations and peoples and go deeper in conveying a sense of shared humanity through emphasizing our similarities over our differences.

Guarding the Fort, 2012. 
Pakistan is currently ranked the fourth most dangerous country in the world - plagued with calamities such as political instability, frequent natural disasters and terrorism. When I first arrived in Lahore I half expected to be met by angry mobs, explosions and hordes of dengue mosquitoes on the prowl. The reality of life (in Lahore at least) was not so dramatic- or menacing! And although my first few weeks had been pretty hard living especially with the constant cuts in power, gas and water, it wasn't half as difficult as I’d imagined it would be. During my three months of working and living in Lahore I discovered a new Pakistan, one which often remains hidden from the public eye. It is a beautiful Pakistan filled with colour, magic and intrigue. Despite all its problems, to me, Pakistan remains one of the most interesting places in the world and I found the people living there to be incredibly resourceful, sincere, generous and spirited. This is what I wanted to capture through my photography. I wanted to take pictures that depicted the true reality of everyday life in the city. I wanted to capture images that told stories and really conveyed the essence of the people I came across. 

What really struck me was the resourcefulness of the people of Lahore, very rarely did I come across someone begging, rather one would always have a service on offer- one man would be selling balloons,  another mending pots on the side road, a few children would gather shoes to shine. The people made the best of what they were given- they worked hard to receive the little they got.

Weigh Yourself, 2012. 
Balloons and Crisps, 2012. 
I also wanted to capture the colour and the mysticism of Lahore, for all the stereotypes perpetuated of Pakistan as a dark, dangerous and violent country, I found the city to be a very colourful place from soft pastels to garish neons, colour was to be found everywhere, on buses, trucks, markets, peoples clothes, decorations, even the graves, this to me reflected the qualities I found in many of the Lahori people I came to meet. A side that presented a certain creativity, humour, playfulness-all very human qualities.

Techni-Colour Truck, 2012
Wazir Khan Masjid, 2012. 
I also wanted to focus on taking pictures of children. I really believe that wherever you go in the world, the children are the same. They love to play and laugh and to cause mischief. I think children are symbolic of truth and purity given the free-spirited nature they possess. Children remind us of how we used to be, back before we became aware of our differences, before we formed ideas and identities rooted in own insecurities and fears. They remind us of simpler times, and I believe if we let them, they can inspire us to recreate those simpler times- that sense of freedom and exploration.
Girls in Bright Colours, 2012. 
On the Banks of the Ravi, 2012.
I plan on going back to Lahore in a few years and setting up a tuition and playcenter for street kids, before that however I'll need to gain more experience and raise some funds! I'm really looking forward to working very hard and seeing my project through in the not so distant future! Anyway I leave you with a song from one of my favourite Lahori musicians, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. 

2 comments:

Polliwog said...

The pictures look lovely and the kids look adorable. You have captured Lahore beautifully.

Steve Finnell said...

UNLESS THE FATHER DRAWS HIM


John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

What is the meaning of John 6:44?

1. Does it mean only a few, who have been selected by the Father, will be saved? No, it does not.
2. Does it mean that men only respond to the gospel because of irresistible grace? No, it does not.

WHO ARE THOSE THAT THE FATHER DRAWS?

John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

The Father draws all who hear and learn. The Father does not force anyone to hear or learn. Men have free-will. God does not impute faith into a few so they will believe and be saved. Faith does not come by injection.

HOW DO MEN HEAR AND LEARN?

Romans 10:13-14 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Men need to hear the gospel before they can learn and believe. The Father draws men by the gospel.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Faith comes from hearing the gospel. Faith does not come because the Father selected a chosen few, before the world began, to be saved. All who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are the chosen and that includes whoever accepts God's terms for pardon. Faith does not come because of irresistible grace.

God the Father draws men to Jesus with the gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,

IT IS THE GOSPEL THAT DRAWS MEN TO JESUS!

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE IS NOT THE METHOD THAT THE FATHER USES TO DRAW MEN TO JESUS.

Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, "All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Israel as a nation reject the gospel. How would that be possible if irresistible grace were in play? Israel turned away from God.

Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

Jerusalem was unwilling to be drawn to Jesus by believing the gospel. They had a choice.

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

The Jews had the opportunity to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they were unwilling. There was no irresistible grace in play. The Father draws all who are willing to believe the gospel.

John 6:40 This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

IF YOU ARE READING THIS BLOG YOU ARE ONE OF THE "EVERYONE" WHO HAS A CHANCE TO BE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL AND BE SAVED.

MEN REJECT GOD.

GOD DOES NOT REJECT MEN DUE TO NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.

THE FATHER DRAWS MEN TO JESUS THROUGH THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. MEN ARE NOT DRAWN TO JESUS BECAUSE THEY WERE PRESELECTED FOR SALVATION!


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