Deftly Captured

By Qureshi, Nikhat Izhar | Islamic Horizons, March/April 2006 | Go to article overview

Deftly Captured


Qureshi, Nikhat Izhar, Islamic Horizons


Farah Janjua turns a hobby into a profession, driving toward achievement.

"PHOTOGRAPHY IS AS much of an inward journey as it is an outward one," explains Farah Janjua, a talented, self-motivated, and enthusiastic young photographer. She believes that there is a tangible connection between our inner soul and that of the outside world, a connection reflected and communicated in photographs; "[as] an artist today, with the world at the brink of globalization, I feel a need to help achieve a harmonious level of understanding and a positive communication between the frequencies that govern different peoples of our times. And dialogue through art is a powerful medium for achieving this important purpose. My work aims at diversity because it has an urge to achieve a union between the esoteric and the exoteric. This union, I believe, is necessary for attaining a balance between the worlds within us all... [and] the outer one that we are all connected to by Nature."

Janjua-originally from Rawalpindi, Pakistan-who is earning her Bachelor's degree in photography at the University of North Texas in Denton, says photography started off as a hobby and gradually became a profession. In 1994, while working on her Master's degree in English literature at the University of Punjab in Pakistan, she won an award at a Kodak photographic competition in Pakistan. Since then she has done remarkable work in the field of photography with the use of SLR and digital cameras.

Working in both color and black and white, her photographs have been displayed in many exhibitions in Pakistan (Lok-Virsa/National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage in Islamabad), as well as in Ireland (1996), Bangladesh (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, 1997), Argentina, England (1998), and the U.S.

In 1999, she was the only international student whose work was selected for publication in "America at the Millennium" by the International Library of Photography. Also in 1999, as an official photographer for the UN World Food Program in Islamabad, Janjua covered all UN programs in Pakistan, which included traveling to the most remote areas; interacting with locals and Afghan refugees; and documenting living conditions in the villages, camps, schools, and health clinics. Her photographs were subsequently used to promote UN programs in various international publications.

Janjua also served as a photographer for three American journalists: Gayle Forman, Eliza Griswold, and Jan Goodwin, whose reports on Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan were published in "Seventeen", "Jane" and "Marie-Claire" magazines.

Due to her previous humanitarian photography, Janjua was assigned to work for Save the Children in Haripur, North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan, Pakistan. …

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