Diversity is Pakistan’s great asset, says Manolo Ty
One has every reason to believe in the bright and prosperous future of Pakistan and the notion got further strengthened after attending the launch of a coffee table book titled “Pakistan Now” Thursday at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts. It took the unassuming, humble German photographer and artist Manolo Ty three years to take snaps, select among the plethora of the photographs (he had to kill many darlings) and give it a final shape. “This is my humble effort what I can give to Pakistan,” he said reminding the audience, mostly Pakistani and some German nationals, “you’ve too much in your country.” To a question posed by the moderator of the ceremony Wajahat Hussain, he said diversity is Pakistan’s real asset and can act as a driving force for this great nation. Having travelled the widths and lengths of the country, populated and deserted areas, Manolo provides us glimpses of almost all the parts of the country, people living there, cultures and rituals of those particular lands. Seeing the picture, one is tempted to disbelieve one is seeing Pakistan, such a colourful and diverse country in its essence. Manolo said he lived over three years in the country and is getting along the message for his German people “Go and see the real beautiful Pakistan.” He called his work fulfilling and period spent in the country a journey within.
“There are no OBLs (Osma Bin Ladens) nor terrorists running the affairs of the state, rather people here are hospitable, friendly and caring,” he said. Earlier in February, Manolo has launched the book in Germany and has received a tremendous feedback.
He has been through various experiences like living with a tribal elder in Peshawar, being sucked into mystical Sufi nights in Lahore, getting lost in Cholistan desert etc. “At that time I learned to see the country with different eyes. It did not take much to fall in love with Pakistan.”
Behind the stunning photos and personal accounts of Manolo Ty, there is a secondary theme. The Author, Artist, and Photographer seek to raise awareness of traditions and environments which are under threat, as well as participate in creating a global dialogue for promoting and understanding different cultures.
Taken between 2013 and 2014, the book’s 276 images were shot in more than 25 locations and, together with stories and observations, chart Ty’s intimate journey into unknown territory. The collection shows a startling new present-moment perspective of a remarkable country, Pakistan.
According to Oscar double winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Manolo has found Pakistan one of the most photogenic countries he has ever photographed. The German artist cites Pakistan as his favorite place to photograph, not only because of its diversity and culture but because of his great fondness for the people.
DG PNCA Jamal Shah also paid tributes to Manolo Ty calling him a great ambassador promoter of Pakistan’s true colours.