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Asim Rafiqui October 26, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Ayodhya, India

Asim Rafiqui (b. 1966, Pakistan) is an independent photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been working professionally since 2003 and began by focusing on stories from Afghanistan and Pakistan while also pursuing personal projects that focused on issues related to the aftermath of conflict. This focus has led him to produce work from Iraqi Kurdistan, Haiti, Israel and the tribal areas of Pakistan. He has also regularly shot assignments for magazines like National Geographic (France), Stern (Germany), The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Newsweek, and Time (USA, Asia). He authors the blog site called The Spinning Head, and also the essays that accompany his later India work at The Idea of India.

Editors Note: Asim was the 2009 grant recipient of the Aftermath Project, a yearly grant competition open to working photographers worldwide covering the aftermath of conflict. The deadline for the 2010 cycle will be November 2nd. Check the web site for details.

About the Photograph:

“The project, called The Idea of India, is a personal attempt to, as Walter Benjamin once said to articulate the past not to “…recognize it ‘the way it really was’ [but]…to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.” I spent over a month in Ayodhya and this photograph was taken on the famous Ram Ki Pairi - a series of steps that lead to now unused bathing pools. Sitting outside a shop selling Hindu literature this mahant was subjected to the shrill rhetoric of a Hindu revisionist who owned the stall. At a moment when exasperation, perhaps despondency, seemed to take over his and my soul, I clicked the shutter.”

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