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Up Above the World so High

Artist Statement: As a photographer and educationist, I have been deeply inspired by Photographer JR’s large‐format street pastings of portraits to transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. This photo essay attempts to explore the flip-side of the JR’s format, where people are shot through aerial view and they become miniatures. The photographs were captured from the top of Galata Tower, about 200 ft. above the ground. It explores how identities become faceless, sans-walls and border-less metaphorically and sometimes physically in an increased globalized fast-paced world. Not presented as a diptych, however, photographs are paired to evoke certain intellectual and emotional responses to the idea that how insignificant yet intriguing a person might seem among the ocean of humans on this earth. We observe so many people on our life journeys or short commute that it is impossible to know all of them but from minute parts of many personalities, we try to understand what it is to be human.

Artist Bio: Raheel Tajuddin Lakhani is self-taught photographer, published in two coffee-table books and participated in few local and international competitions / exhibitions. He is a recipient of High Honors in Master of Education from The Aga Khan University. Currently, participated as a digital innovator in an academic scholarship program ‘Social Innovation in Digital Context’ at Lund University funded by Swedish Institute, where through the initiative “Chirag’an” he explored the development of a digital storytelling approach for promotion of creative and pluralistic expression in Pakistani context. His interests include eLearning pedagogy, learner’s autonomy, freedom of expression and pluralism, visual/textual narratives and digital collaborations.

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