Interview with photographer Lali Khalid

Of, home

Of, home

F-Stop Magazine: The current issue of F-Stop Magazine includes images from your project “Being between”, your statement about the work is very poetic and I am intrigued by the idea of you following yourself and how that relates to the title “Being between”. Can you tell us about this project? What led to this work?

Lali Khalid: This project is a continuation/extension of the self-portraits that I have been doing since 2007. When I say “following myself”, I am referring to constantly photographing myself. “Being between” is about the endless struggle I have of being at home, and not being at home at once. The first ever picture of me with the dopatta floating over my head reminded me of home, of my mom, of how far I am from all that I so dearly love. I knew immediately that I’d be working on this project for a while. It’s very close to my heart.

F-Stop: What does the floating fabric represent or mean to you? For me as a viewer it seems to evoke a sort of presence or awareness of something more, something beyond what is seen in the image…

LK: The fabric “Dopatta” represent my family, my home, my culture, and my life that I left behind. That something beyond what’s seen in the image is maybe all of these things. It’s the people I miss, the culture I am losing, the things I am forgetting.

Clothesline, birds squawking

Clothesline, birds squawking

F-Stop: Can you describe your process for making these images or your creative process more generally?

LK: I set the shot up using a tripod. Once the timer is set, I run back to the frame and throw the dopatta up in the air. The camera captures me as I interact with the dopatta. Its at once staged and chanced.

F-Stop: How do you choose the moment or location to photograph, what are you looking to capture?

LK: Unlike a lot of my other self-portraits, I like doing these pictures outside. I want to try and capture the vastness of the land around me. I am at once, comfortable in that vastness and a total stranger in it.

F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?

LK: If I can get my photographs to hold someone’s attention, my job is done. I want people to engage in empathetic feeling when they see my photographs, to feel something familiar within.

Pursuing the light

Pursuing the light

F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image in this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?

LK: My favorite is probably “Pursuing the light”. I love this image because of the light in it. It also is close to me as it has my son and me in it, with the dopatta like a protecting hand above us.

F-Stop: How does this project relate to other work or project you have done?

LK: It is a continuation of self. Exploring themes of identity, home and diaspora, these images

F-Stop: Are you working on any other projects currently?

LK: Yes. I always work on multiple projects simultaneously. “Self”, “The Mom Series”, “A place (I live in)”, “Of you and I” are some of the ongoing projects.

F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?

LK: Allesandra Senguinetti, Alec Soth, Tom Hunter, Philip Perkis, Allen Frame, Gregory Crewdson, Richard Misrach, Hellen Van Meene and Dita Pepe are some of my favorites. Sorry I like too many of them.


For more of Lali Khalid’s work:

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