Daniel Ali uses photography as a means to explore his surroundings, as a way of researching,
developing and expressing an interpretation, and understanding the issues that not only
interest him but are part of his identity and daily life. In his personal work he always shoots with
film; this commitment to one form of medium represents themes which he tries to explore through his work such as memory, identity, fragmentation, the gaze and the frameworks visual
perception, and above all a physical and tangible link to a real event: an experience.
My photographic process reflects a documentary/reportage style that is firmly grounded in a
fine art practice balanced between the personal and the institutional. This is a basis for
working that allows me to consider each photographic image individually or as a series,
invoking a discussion not only through photo essays and context but as a piece that
communicates with an audience on an individual basis in a gallery.
Although I consciously try to consider each step of the process I find photography is a very
organic way of working and the majority of the time I find myself piecing together and
developing a narrative retrospectively, after the experience of a series of events.
Searching for Karachi is a body of work resulting from a short trip to Karachi, Pakistan. I first
visited Pakistan in 2004, a time when neighboring countries were fraught with ongoing wars
and despite there being an obvious influx of refugees I never experienced any sign of potential dangers or knew of any reason to be concerned for my safety or my possessions.
Since this visit in 2004, Karachi has been headline news for many different issues that trouble the city; sectarian violence, target killings, riots, corruption scandals and gun crime. When I returned in June 2012 I set out to see the realities of everyday life, these photographs disturbingly reflecting the popular opinion that Pakistan’s most important city is on a downward spiral on course to end in mass bloodshed.
The images in this series are part of a larger body of work which represents experiences that allowed me to be in some unusual places and meet some amazing characters; Abdul Sattar Edhi (a living saint), the MQM political party supporters only minutes after being targets of an attempted drive-by shooting, Pakistan’s largest morgue half full, gun shops selling military spec arms and ladyboys who cast spells.
To view more of Daniels work please visit his website.