Madiha Aijaz works with photographs, film, and fiction. Her practice is concerned with how people experience pleasure and privacy in reordered urban spaces. She photographs railroads, devotional towns and public libraries to respond to found situations and conversations. She is also interested in exploring photography in the areas of veracity and theatricality.
Aijaz is currently developing a documentary feature on traveling fairs and performers in Pakistan with co-director Maheen Zia. The film has received support from Locarno’s Open Doors Programme and the IDFA Bertha Fund. Her book on the Hindu temples in Pakistan was published in 2014 (Call to Conscience, Abbasi, Aijaz, Niyogi Books, New Delhi). Aijaz is an Assistant Professor at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi and holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from Parsons with a Fulbright Scholarship.
Recent and upcoming exhibitions include the Karachi Biennial, Karachi, Pakistan (2017), 10th International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala, India (2017), IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, New Delhi, India (2015); Urban Flux Film Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa (2012);
2010 - MFA Photography & Related Media - Parsons – The New School for Design, New York, NY
2002 - Bachelors in Design - Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture (IVS), Karachi, Pakistan
Residencies and Awards
2017 – Selected as a Royal Over-Seas League visual arts scholar (2017-18), along with the Liverpool Biennial, Hospitalfield Arts, Scotland and Tetley, Leeds, UK 2018
2017 – Nominated as an artist in residence at the Hospital field, Arbroath, Scotland
2017 – Selected as an artist in residence at Murree Museum Artist’s Residency, Pakistan (deferred)
2016 - Winner IDFA Bertha Research & Development Fund for the film “Then They Would be Gone”
2016 - Documentary project invited for co-production at Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors Hub
2015 – Selected as artist in residence at Space 118, Mumbai, India
2015 – Selected as an artist in residence at Sandarbh International Residency, Partapur, Rajasthan, India
2011 – Recipient of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for radio (Highly commended)
2010 – Selected as an artist in residence at Arquetopia, Pubela, Mexico (Declined)
2007 - Fulbright Scholarship
2002 - Distinction in Thesis, IVS
2001 - 2002 - Dean’s Honours List, IVS
2017, Swimming Pool at the 10th International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India
2015, Women photographing Women. Canadian High Commission, Islamabad, Pakistan
2015, End of the residency show at Sandarbh International Artist Residency, Partapur, Rajasthan, India
2013, One Shot – a group show at the VM Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2014, Swimming Pool, at Reewaiti One Night Stand exhibition hosted by ASNA Triennial at the Amin Guljee
2012, Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan (Collaborative performance piece with actor Nimra Bucha)
2012, I belong/I’ll be long (2 min), animation at the Urban Flux Film Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2012, Films, Of Pearls and Sand (11 min) Sentries of the Coast (4 min), World Conservation Forum, South Korea
2010, I belong/I’ll be long at Image[in]ing Cities, Amin Gulgee Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2010, The Invitation, Art Lane, Port Grand, Karachi, Pakistan 'Of Magical Stories and Brooklyn Walls, Photo Space, Karachi, Pakistan
2004, Showcasing Pakistani Women Photographers, Gallery Saddequain, Karachi, Pakistan
2003, Sixty Portraits, Pakistan National Council of Arts, Karachi
2001, Karavan Karachi, Gallery Saddequain, Karachi, Pakistan
Selected Reviews and Publications
2017, Rail Riders, Subjective Atlas of Pakistan (upcoming)
2017, Loop Lines - Unused Stations of the Pakistan Railway, Hybrid Journal (upcoming)
2016, Dollhouses on One Up Khyber Mail: http://www.addastories.org/dollhouses/
2016, Scenes for Sale - Product Placement in Films: http://herald.dawn.com/news/1153354/scenes-for-sale-product-placement-in-films
2016: Poets Translating Poets, http://www.goethe.de/ins/in/lp/prj/ptp/fot/en15660154.htm
2015, Photo-essay, ‘A Railway Pilgrimage in Pakistan’ – Roads and Kingdoms, January 2015.
2015, Catalogue essay, ‘Walking the Same Pace’ for the show The Science of Taking a Walk at the Gandhara Art Gallery, Karachi.
2015, Paper presentation, ‘The Location of Photograph in Devotional Ritualistic Practices, presented at a conference titled, Performative Communication, Culture and Politics in South Asia, Jamia Millia, New Delhi, India
2014, Paper, presentation ‘Hindu Temples in Pakistan’, Annual Fulbright Conference, Lahore, Pakistan
2014, Abbasi, Aijaz, Historical Temples in Pakistan – A Call to Conscience, Niyogi Books, New DelhI, India
2014, Art Matters on NDTV, India: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/art-matters-temples-in-pakistan-594238
2014, The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/reema-abbasis-historic-temples-of-pakistan-a-call-to-conscience-presents-a-side-of-pakistan-not-many-would-be-familiar-with/article6252711.ece
2013, Dawn - One Shot Stories – http://dawn.com/news/1037163/one-shot-stories
The Tribune – One Shot Stories - http://tribune.com.pk/story/592975/capturing-fleeting-momentsartists-use-photo-essays-to-leave-imprints-on-peoples-memories/
Spring 2013 – Nukta Arts – Reewati One Night Stand’s six selected performances reviewed
2009, Work reviewed in EGO http://www.egothemag.com/archives/2009/09/post_28.htm Work reviewed on Bolt Art http://www.boltart.net/anime-edilmis-siyasi-imgeler/
2003-04, Rooh Afzah, Pakola and Buraq, Photographs, ‘ Mazaar, Bazaar’ Edited by Saima Zaidi – a book on popular culture and design vernacular in Pakistan, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2010
2004, The best of Branches, Ucelli Press, Seattle, 2004, January, pp. 58-59 (photograph)
Teaching Experience 2010 - 2017
Courses Taught: “Reading the City (Studio/Seminar)”, “Photography as Visual Narrative (Studio and Seminar), “Contemporary Practices” (Seminar), “History of Photography” (Seminar) and “Introduction to Documentary Photography” (Studio) at IVS, SZABIST and the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi.
2014-2016 - Senior Year Thesis coordinator and adviser at IVS and SZABIST. Have also hosted and delivered talks at JNU, New Delhi, Jamia Millia, New Delhi, Srishti College of Art and Design, Bangalore and SZABIST, Karachi.
Member of the Board of Studies - Department of Fine Arts (IVS)
Member of the Board of Studies, Department of Communication Design (IVS)
English, Urdu: Excellent reading, writing and speaking skills. Punjabi, Seraiki, Farsi: Basic speaking and comprehension skills.