Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sam Phelps: Train Portraits In Pakistan

Photo © Sam Phelps-All Rights Reserved
Let me venture a guess...we all love a long train journey in an exotic land.

If I'm right, you'll love Sam Phelps's wonderful portraits of Pakistanis sharing a train journey with him. If I'm not...you'll still love them.

The portraits were made on the Khyber Mail, a Pakistani mail and passenger train that travels from Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and ends in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city at the southern tip of the Sindh province on the Arabian Sea. The train journey involves 35 hours of travel.

My favorite portrait is of Joman, an 80 year-old Sufi. He is from Nowabshah, Sindh Province, and has two wives and twelve children. He has been a beggar all his life.

Sam Phelps has a background of fine arts study in Sydney, and is now increasingly working with NGOs including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, as well as taking assignments for clients including Der Speigel, Time, Newsweek Pakistan and the Times UK. He is also a registered photographer with Getty Images Global Assignment.

He traveled the mountainous roads to Leh, the capital of Ladakh in northern India, and photographed the lives of people along the route. He undertook a four day trip on a train meeting and documenting pilgrims' experiences traveling from Tehran through northern Iran, across Turkey and south to the Syrian capital of Damascus to pray at the Umayyad, the Great Mosque of Damascus.