The NUMS Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (DSBS) held its fourth meeting of “Samaaj Khayaal”- a monthly series, which aims to transcend disciplinary boundaries, find connections and bring to light issues of social relevance. The session titled “Art and Social Sensibility” was held on October 23rd, 2019 at DSBS, NUMS Secretariat. Prof Dr. Aamir Shahzad, Director Academics (Clinical) at NUMS was invited as a guest speaker to share his passion for cultural photography. The guest speaker introduced the diverse audience to street photography which allows the artist to take candid snapshots in public spaces to unveil the realities of life. He shared how technical aspects of photography like framing and composition add to the quality of the image but ethical aspects like privacy and confidentiality of the individuals in the photographs also is a major responsibility of the photographer.

The guest speaker exhibited his selected photographs covering distinct themes like religion and sectarianism, political issues andculture. He shared how the same photograph can have multiple interpretations because of the differences in the socialization, personality and experiencesof diverse segments of the society. Prof. Aamir showed his photographs of the homeless, drug addicts and individuals from lower socio-economic strata and discussed how the portraits of marginalized populations have a depth of expression which narrates the story of their hardship.

The audience was moved by the powerful visuals and shared their feedback on the themes presented in the photographs. It was discussed that as a member of society, along with awareness and sensitization of the prevailing social issues in Pakistan, we also need to have concerted efforts to work for them according to our individual and collective capacity.