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SE Interview - InayatShah

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 PM by TheGalleryOfEve:iconthegalleryofeve:

Congratulations to InayatShah for receiving seniority on July 7th, 2014! :squee:

Whats That by InayatShah The Agony Of Poverty - I by InayatShah

What is it like to be a part of the senior hut? How do you feel about receiving the Medal? How did you receive the news?

Actually this is something I will have to find out, I just joined the club. I feel quite honoured and proud of receiving this particular distinction. Without bragging, in my professional life, A long career in the Air Force and now Defence Engineering, I have received many awards and distinctions, including quite a few bright shiny service medals. But this recognition from the DA community, which Is the most wonderful global community of artists will take pride of place over all the rest. Since I don't have a list of all the senior members, I think I am probably also the first "Pakistani" to be a senior member.
Although I am not sure if I have been given this recognition because of my humble efforts in documentary art, where I have tried to give a truer picture of the common Pakistani as compared to how the international media portray us. Just an insight to normal everyday people. Or has it been because of my contributions to the DA community as a whole, with the joint efforts of Jenny Stokes (Who has also received this honour with me) in the groups that we run together.
More than a mark of achievement, I consider it a signal to put more impetus and drive into both my efforts at a personal level in my art and my contribution to the community. I hope that being a member of the Senior Hut, will afford me a platform, where I can contribute more effectively to a larger section. With this recognition I need to continually prove that I am worthy.
How did I receive the news? How else but a whole spate of congratulatory messages on the award, I can not say enough how wonderful and appreciative and ecouraging of each other, the DA community is.

You've done an amazing job showing the true side of the common Pakistani! Your gallery is full of great shots!
I've looked through your gallery and one photo caught my attention. May I ask what the history is behind the photo The Agony Of Poverty - II? :)
The Agony Of Poverty - II by InayatShah

This photograph was taken out side one of Islamabad's "Sunday Markets".  In the first instance it seems to be nothing more than an old beggar man .. asking for some charity.  I visit the Sunday market frequently .. my camera accompanies me while shopping for vegetables. I recognised the man from shot I had taken of him a couple of years earlier very close by to the same spot. This triggered a number of simultaneous threads of thought.  He is one of the multitude of visible-invisibles.  Most people would look at him without seeing.  Just another beggar, his face and appearance quickly forgotten.  We as a nation have grown immune to such sights and our minds are tuned to ignore.  But I remember ..  Then begging has become a business, apart from those that have fallen through the cracks of society into the gutter of life and are left with no recourse but to cast aside their dignity and beg, there are a multitude of those who with a multitude of reasons, act, pretend and falsify their conditions and circumstances because they find begging is more profitable or easy than any other dignified recourse to labour.  But no matter if the suffer this indignity because they have no other option or because it is better than any other option.  The common factor of poverty remains.  The real agony of Poverty being the loss of self respect. So as I pass him by .. do I drop a few coins in his hand ..because I feel he is a "real" beggar or do I pass him by because I think he is a "false" beggar.  I know that the help that the few coins I will give to him .. is only temporary ..and probably eases my conscience more than it alleviates his poverty.  Real or Not, What I do know is that he will be still there tomorrow ..still begging. Will my donation really help him, does he really want out of this life, will it make any difference or will it just help him to maintain his status quo.
These thoughts are too long an complicated to analyze in the few seconds it took me to kneel take his picture and walk the few steps past him.  But my hand does go into my pocket to gather the loose change and drop it into his outstretched hand.  But yet it doesn't bring my conscience any relief.  

Your work tells stories that like you say, show reality from a closer perspective. How do you feel you have affected your viewers with your work, I mean, from the feedback you get, how do you feel people respond to your reality?

Well firstly to answer this, you have to appreciate that I live in Pakistan and most of my images are of Pakistan. Pakistan is a country that has received much press and media coverage, and mostly the media seems to capture the sensationalized "bad" things of Pakistan. I just wanted to show the people of Pakistan from my "backyard" perspective.  The normal people, the common people, to show that inspte of our vast cultural differences, we are the same.  We have hopes and aspirations, we face adversity and troubles, we rejoice in achievements just like everybody else.  I did not go for the grandeur or the more colourful events, it is more an attempt to show the everyday fabric of our society, in terms of basic human emotions.  From my feedback, I find that i have been able to garner empathy and a better understanding, at least with my regular watchers.  Of course with many images the conversation on the feedback and comments also results in sharing more of the image, and its cultural background. There is yet so much to capture and share.

You also help the community quite a lot with your photography tips and your wonderful features. As an artist, what prompts you to share these tips, how do you feel when you help out like this? Does people's appreciation encourages you to do so?

Well thank you, what prompts me, well for the photography tips, basically they are arising out of some discussion.  I do find DA very interactive and instead of just writing back some quick notes, I thought it would be much nicer to share the same information in the form of a journal, that others may also find useful.  I enjoy both reading other peoples guides as well as sharing my meager knowledge.  I think this is a very important role of DA as a peer group to share experiences and knowledge.  I have learnt a lot myself from DA, observing other artists work and reading their journals.  I feel I must also pay back to the community also.

Thank you very much for the interview! Do you have anything you wish to share with us? Any Last words?

Any Last words !!! *laughing*   isnt that what the ask the prisoner before he gets executed ?
In my book, there are no last words.  Art, Ideas, philosophy are constantly evolving, changing.  As artists we must also be constantly evolving, thoughts, ideas, concepts .. "the last word" is so final.  The last word can only be said when one achieves perfection .. and as humans we are not perfect .. we must constantly strive to be better.  *laughing* yes I know what you meant by "any last words" ...
To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
-Elliott Erwitt-

Thank you very much InayatShah for the interview!

Lonely Lady by InayatShah Birdman Of Bath by InayatShah

Seniority Announcement - July 2014
FAQ #29: How do I become a Senior Member?

More Journal Entries

Weekly Hunt Winner Feature!

:la: This week's winner is: SilverInkblot

Old SoulsDoc says I’m an old
soul, with my postcards
and letters, and waste-no-words
policy. Doc says old souls still make eye
contact instead of playing with iPhones,
mirrors that stare back, and tell
us who we are by knowing
who they are.
Doc tells me I’m an old
soul in a young body, taming
wild Internets and bringing my words
to heel like a triple score
in a game of Scrabble.
That I was born in the wrong
decade, that I was meant to punch
typewriter keys like a boxer,
that the twenty-first century
wasn’t made for old souls like mine.
Doc thinks I’m too old
to be twenty-three, constantly forgetting
the barriers of my few years.
Like that I never wrote about myself
until he gave me moments
worth writing down, and cared
about the person behind the words.
That I learned who I was by learning
who he was, and drew a timeline
of intersection points where each
node became a poem, and each poem
became a stepping stone.
Doc unearthed an old
soul in my notebook.
Old like a favori
Turn my words against me.I want my words to take
root in your stomach and grow
up your esophagus, the calyx
of your tongue brushing the edge
of your teeth until the words blossom
from your lips in a slow
explosion of elegance, jawline
trickled with nectar, charming
hummingbirds and honeybees
with the promise of butterfly kisses.

Architects paint with light and concrete.I dreamt I was an architect,
a handful of doubts and
corrosive intellect.
The clock tower has the most lonely
view of the industrial sunrise,
rising like the old Indian song inside.
From where I sit, sunlight
drips like honey fresh
from the earth over concrete elegance.
Sometimes autumn feels like winter.
Once a classy hotel
and now an urban puzzle,
consumed by kudzu creeping
all along the broken windows,
choking the windchimes.
How do cities understand
what soul sings behind their windows?
There’s so many different suns
desperate to connect;
the light through a dirty
windshield; the sun in an empty
room; something ordinary in the quiet
presence of light and shadows.
Some moments are golden,
as if even the city knows
the art of being perfectly still.
Autumn was my first love.October, I follow you -
from the magic lights of New York
to moonshines in Georgia,
until the colors dissolve.
The anxious poetry of autumn
made a memory of me.
Here’s to things I take for granted:
September blues,
chasing airplanes,
country road thunderstorms.
Unspoken words, unwritten ideas.
October, I follow you;
I thought I saw you on the shore
where the river runs through gold
on the last boat leaving the city of a hundred spires -
or perhaps Pittsburgh
(it was the lights I guess).
Here’s to the things we leave behind:
sunbeams in November,
letters addressed to no one,
poems, wounds, dead birds.
I’ve got that summertime sadness.
Maybe you’re gonna come back;
we’re changing our ways, taking different roads
and loneliness knows me by name
but October, I follow you;
without you I’m a winter heart,
a love story you don’t want,
a November shade of grey hunting ghosts
in cities that sleep inside our heads.
You told me you lied the night you kiss



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Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Join requests are closed?
(1 Reply)
Voracious-man Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
How do I suggest a friend of mine's art for daily deviation? I don't know who to ask on here.
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LoByteSo Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the request, I appreciate it! :-)
TiagoSilverio Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thx for featuring my art!
iDJPanda Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student General Artist
(5 Replies)
IFreischutz Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Awww I hope I can be here someday :iconmahfeelsplz:
But until then, congrats to those who have been selected!! :heart:
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Artsy50 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for the invite! :D
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Astrikos Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014   General Artist
Congratulations, all new seniors! :love:
C-91 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Silly question: are the submissions to the galleries on hold? :ponder:
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Hidden by Owner
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Branchewski Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
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raysheaf Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for inviting me!!!
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rainylake Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the invite :aww:
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iDJPanda Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Student General Artist
I have a question, has the mustache always been associated with seniors? Or is it just something every single fancy old person needs? :lol:
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pwassonne Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for inviting me! ^_^
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TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohhh my goodness, I'm so happy!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: Thank you so much everybody!!! :iconloveloveplz:
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jennystokes Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
I have joined and I want to thank everyone so much.
BIG :hug:
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iDJPanda Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Student General Artist
666 members?

*cue bloodcurdling scream* 
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iingo Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Swing No BallsRacing Girl Emoji (Lovely bye bye wave) [V3] Thought I swing by to say hi
Hug Pikachu angry 3 then and hugs you all :heart: :hug:

Have a good day seniors
(1 Reply)
CRGPhotography Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Any Seniors here like Tigers? :D

Read the comments and see you like Visitations. Would this be considered one of Close Encounters of The Third Kind? Or of the .5th kind? Who knows. xD
(4 Replies)
iDJPanda Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Student General Artist
I'm a little late but a hug is a hug! You guys all deserve one! :tighthug:

Thanks for being so awesome. :love:
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farand Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
I heard from iDJPanda that you guys like visitors.

I have Jack Daniel's and a tight-fitting Kim Jong-unesque uniform, we could have a lot of fun with a young, sprightly young man like George!!! :eager:
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iDJPanda Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
This page looks different. :shifty:

I'm sorry for bothering you old people. xD I just heard that you guys like visitors. c:
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iDJPanda Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student General Artist
You know that picture up there really disturbs me every time I visit here. xD 

I always think it's real blood.
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