Saturday, 4 August 2018

These Silences Are All the Words by Madiha Aijaz at Open Eye Gallery as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018

These Silences Are All the Words is a film installation and series of photographs exploring the public libraries of Karachi, Pakistan, against the backdrop of the city’s changing landscape.

Focusing on librarians who have been working for years in traditional institutions such as Bedil Library, Aijaz tells the stories of an aging intelligentsia.

The backlit photographs show scenes from an assortment of libraries as well as the librarians who work there. One is reminded of the need for visitors to the library in order for the historical knowledge to be passed on.

The lighting in the photographs is exquisite. The dark environments are usually illuminated by beams of light from a window or a highlight from a reading lamp. The long exposure time needed to capture the image relates to the stillness in the image and suggests a slow pace and contemplative atmosphere commonly associated with being in a library.

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