A Photo essay on Afzal Ahmed Syed's poem
„اگر تم تک میری آواز نہیں پہنچ رہی ہے / Wenn du meine Stimme nicht hören kannst“

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اگر تم تک میری آواز نہیں پہنچ رہی ہے
اس میں ایک باز گشت شامل کرلو
پرانی داستانوں کی بازگشت

اور اس میں
ایک شاہزادی
اور شاہزادی میں اپنی خوبصورتی

اور اپنی خوبصورتی میں
ایک چاہنے والے کا دل

اور چاہنے والے کے دل میں
ایک خنجر

Afzal Ahmed Syed

I have looked at poems from Afzal Ahmed Syed’s 1990’s collection Do Zabaano Mae Saza-e-Mout (Death Sentence in Two Languages).

I kept returning to this collection, and this poem in particular, with a prevailing sense of reigned in desires that it emanates. Phenomenologically, the photographs I have made, situate them in contested, often fractured landscapes. The photographs, therefore, like the poem, are not necessarily concerned with resting them in a specific geographical location but talk about dissipating spaces. Nevertheless, I explore them with a sense of beauty and melancholy that I find omnipresent in his work.

The other significant thread to his work, for me, is the voice and vocabulary of the feminine and the awakening of love that takes place in places where there is a physical degradation of the body. Each time, I felt there is a sense of the meeting of the lovers who never really meet but embrace in stalemate. The photographic reading of his work, also refer to the themes of admissible sexuality, its friction with nature and the looming masculine surroundings.

Madiha Aijaz