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Mar 21, 2007
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This photo series documenting Chillum Joshi -- Kalash's annual festival -- will make your day


Nashrah Baqi

If you've ever been to Kalash Valley, chances are you were greatly inspired by the beautiful people of the valley, and the stories that their enchanting eyes tell -- stories which reside in one's soul for a lifetime.

Agha Fawad, who loves photography and is a student at SZABIST's media sciences department, embarked on a 1400-mile journey this May to capture the beauty of Kalash's annual festival - Chillum Joshi. The festival is held to thank and honour their gods. Dances are performed by clans and tribes to commemorate all that they have been blessed with.

Fawad indulged in a detailed conversation with The Express Tribune, to describe his fascinating expedition and to share the most breathtaking part of it all -- The faces of Kalash.

Seen at the Chillum Joshi, this little girl from Birir was waiting anxiously for her turn to dance at the festival.


PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

"Her eyes shyly conversed with the dances happening at the festival. It was almost impossible for me to not to take her picture," revealed Agha.


PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD


Agha noted that these two friends, unlike many people at Kalash's Bumboret valley, were eager to get their pictures taken.

PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

This daughter of a local factory owner, looked ethereal as she posed for the camera.

PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

From the valley of Barir, this young boy named Ashfaq had the most captivating eyes.

PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

Drawn in by her sharp facial features, Agha couldn't help but capture this woman's beauty.

PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD



"This playful girl did not let me take her picture for over an hour, but made sure that I was around. Right before I left she finally posed, with her face slightly covered," said Agha.


PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

These two women have been friends for over a century. According to locals, the woman on the left is about 110 years old, while the woman on the right is a whopping 115 years old.

PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

Agha explained that as per tradition, this young girl wore a red feather to indicate that she had her eyes set on someone, and was willing to get married.


PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD

The girl (on the right) was chosen by a man at the festival to marry. She walked in defiance however, through the alleyway to elope with the man she really wanted. Agha captured this moment of simultaneous love, and heartbreak through his lens.



PHOTO: AGHAFAWAD
 

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