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Photo of the Week ft. Anum Mehdi





HC USASK: Tell us a little something about yourself.

AM:  I am your ordinary Canadian-Pakistani girl. I was born in Pakistan but I have lived in Canada my whole life, I like pizza and I love to make people laugh, whether it’s with me or at me. 

HC USASK: Was there any particular event in your lifetime that garnered your interest in photography?

AM: I wouldn’t say there was an event that triggered by interest in photography because it was more of a development over time. My eldest brother was interested in photography and taught me how to start at a young age and ever since then, the passion has not faded.

HC USASK: Tell us about this picture, is there a story behind it?

AM: This photo was taken two summers ago in Lahore, Pakistan. This trip was made 10 years after my last visit and it was quite amazing. Lahore has a lot of history that I had no idea of. This picture is the Sheesh Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors, and was built in the Mughal era. It was created by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631-32 and was a location for a personal resort for Mughal emperors and princes, and where council meetings would be discussed. Even though it is 100’s of years old, it still stands beautifully today.

HC USASK: What inspired you to capture this moment (photograph)?

AM: What inspired me to take this photo was all the history behind it and seeing such structures standing today teaches me about the history of Pakistan, a country I am proud to be from. Another reason I was inspired was simply the beauty of it and how the original structure has been maintained throughout the years, without being westernized.

HC USASK: From your previous work, it is clear that your background has played quite a significant role in your photographs. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, what is the aim in your captures? AM: Yes, it does play a significant role in my work because I want the world to see my background and my Motherland through my eyes. The media has painted a violent picture of countries in the middle east and south Asia and that is the reason why I started to public display the beauty of Pakistan. When going to Pakistan, me being Canadian, I had a lot of doubts and worries about the kind of country I was going to be spending a summer in. After having spent only a couple pf weeks there, Pakistan had my heart. The locals, the architecture, and the history (not to mention the street food), it all gave me a homely feeling. I felt like home, even though I had no recollection of it from my childhood visits. My aim with my photos of Pakistan is to show people in the western world that there is beauty in Pakistan, and in many other countries that the media chooses to hide. I hope that with my photography, other people can also appreciate their own culture and discover their roots. 

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