Through my images, I draw parallels of a New Jersey dollar store and a Pakistani convenience store located 7545 miles apart.
The Store Series takes a peek into a personal realm of a customer's life within a very open and public space. The environment serves as the ideal backdrop to allow me, the artist, to understand how a patron of a general store is able to decide on the purchases he/she will make. For a moment in time, their guard in let down. I am allowed to enter a world of involuntary, and often unknowing expression. What I find fascinating is that even thousands of miles apart, a customer remains a customer. Those very expressions and emotions are parallel.This project is a comparative dialogue that is established between the two stores, one in the developed United States, and one in rural Pakistan, which underscores the similarities in the experiences of the people.
After commencing this project in my father's dollar store, I came across Walker Evans' work - Many Are Called. They were subway photographs that Evans had taken. This is what he had to say, "The guard is down and the mask is off, even more than in lone bedrooms where there is a mirror, people's faces are in naked repose down in the subway." I feel a similar way about Store Series. Visiting my ancestral village in Pakistan around 2008, I took resembling photographs at my uncle's convenience store, and instantly realized that this project had to be furthered in the future.
During my trip to Pakistan in 2008, due to time constraints, I was only able to shoot with two rolls of film, which was clearly not enough to fulfill the project. I need to return and photograph more extensively in order to truly capture and portray the similarities I wish to exhibit to the world.
In 2011 my father's dollar store which he had successful run for over two decades was forced to liquidate due to the poor economic conditions. Shortly before the store shut its doors for good, I took as many pictures as I could because on some level I was trying to savor and preserve the memories of that very space that I had been a part of my entire life. 5 months later, I moved my life to Doha, Qatar. Currently I have undeveloped film that I have not been able to process due to there being no dark rooms available to artists and photo enthusiasts such as myself. Being able to develop film is a pivotal part of an artist's process. It is how we are able to witness and process our own work, as well as share it with an audience who will reflect and perpetuate our intellectual growth.
I desire to go back to Pakistan, and take a lot more photographs after which I will return back to Qatar in the hopes of constructing a small black and white lab where developing film will finally become a reality. This is the very first phase of my journey, and with your help I'm confident that success will come.
Phase two is demonstration, and exhibition (for which details will follow once phase one has been achieved).
If I am fortunate enough to receive more funding than requested, I will fly back to Pakistan and run a workshop with a local school in Akhori. I will bring with me donated cameras and teach young students how to capture their lives.
How you can help:
This project will not be able to happen without your help. Your donation will make a huge impact on the realization of this project.
In addition, if you or anyone you know has an old camera you'd like to donate, please reach out to me. If I'm able to achieve higher than my goal I'd love to take your camera and give it to a young student and train them how to use it.
If your are a school in Pakistan near Attock City and would like to have me run a workshop in your school please contact me!
March 8 - 16: I will be in Akhori Pakistan spending day and night at my uncle's store photographing behind the counter.
April - May: I will setup a mini black and white processing lab and begin to process all the film.
June - July: I was start scanning all the film and begin to make prints to mail out to all of your for your help!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The biggest problem I face is the instability in Pakistan. It is regarded as more unsafe than Iraq and was listed as the most dangerous place on earth for journalists. I am well aware of this. My father's village is quite remote and has not been affected by the general violence and lack of security experienced in the country. I plan to be responsible and safe. I am taking out insurance for my trip, not only for my equipment but also in case I get injured or hurt. I have lots of family and a large support network, so I should be fine. Don't worry.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Personalized e - Photos of the store series and a custom scan of a strip of film from the store series. A giant white metaphorical mug of gratitude!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
Two personalized signed postcards thanking you for your support with a picture from each store - the dollar store in Edison, New Jersey and the general store in Akhori, Pakistan. Rewards from the previous pledge also apply!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Two 4 x 5 inch prints of the Store Series. You will get a picture from each store - the dollar store in Edison, New Jersey and the general store in Akhori, Pakistan. They will be signed by me on the back and will be limited edition. They will never be produced at this size in this way ever again!Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
17 backers Limited (83 left of 100)
Two 5 x 7 inch photographs printed on high quality custom calibrated archival inkjet printer of the Store Series. You will get a picture from each store - the dollar store in Edison, New Jersey and the general store in Akhori, Pakistan of your choice. They will be signed by me on the back and will be limited edition. Like the previous rewards, they will be totally unique!Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
12 backers Limited (38 left of 50)
Four 4 x 5 inch silver gelatin prints on fiber paper hand made by yours truly of your choice. This is the highest quality of black and white prints possible. Yes I will actually be in a dark room printing these myself and sticking my hands in chemistry -- all for your support! These will be signed and editioned - only 75 of these will ever be made. You also get a small surprise gift from the general store in Akhori. It will be as if you were a customer at the store!Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
6 backers Limited (19 left of 25)
Two 8 x 10 inch silver gelatin prints of the same quality as the 4 x 5 but just bigger! You will have a private gallery link where you will be able to choose what images you want printed! These will be signed and editioned. I will email you images from the general store. You get to pick what you want to 'buy' (as long as its small. Can't really ship you an axe...).Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)
Four Framed 11 x 14 inch silver gelatin prints on fiber paper hand made by yours truly of your choice. If you live in Doha or the Tri State Area (in the states) I will come and personally install these in your home. These will be signed and editioned. You will get a certificate of authenticity letter. A similar pick at the general store reward option AND you get the actual film negative framed from the store series.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
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