The Land of the Pure
It’s the story of a country less than 100 years old, created in one of the most unstable regions in the world, with the dream of being the “Nation of the Pure”. A land which has become accustomed to war, as it has failed to embrace peace : in Kashmir, on the Afghan border or ideological. A nation that appears united among one unique sacred but fragile bond : Islam. It’s an utopia filled with contradictions, wavering between modernity and ancient times, between secularism and extremism, where the older generation coexists with the younger “westernized” one.". It’s a society riddled with paradoxes, as it punishes homosexuality on the one hand but condones the prostitution of transexuals on the other.It’s a country which elects the first female leader of a Muslim country and yet, secretly supports the very extremist groups who ban women’s education.
How can one find one’s place and identity there, while hesitating between a sense of ethnic belonging and a desire for national identity? Through the portraits of workers, prostitutes, students, isolated landscapes and specific symbols of the Pakistani identity, “The land of the pure” attempts at depicting an unknown and misunderstood country which differs from the idea that has been carved in the collective mind, relayed by the media.
The photos contemplate the relationship between the environment and the individual, men and women, nation and identity. This work is the result of a solitary peregrination; it’s about setting one self aside and discovering an unknown and feared territory. The use of medium format film which slows down the photographic process, tends to reveal the intimacy with the photographed subject and sends back to the nostalgic feeling of a dream eventually challenged by reality