Sunday, 26 January 2014

Chehlum (40 Days After Ashura) | GrayScale

One of the religious rites I'd like to attend to photograph is Ashura, which is the Shi'a Muslims' commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad in 680. I've been thinking about it for a while, and having featured various posts about it on this blog made the itch worse.

The most logical place to witness and photograph the event is certainly in Iran or Iraq, but with a US passport it may be more advisable for me to attend the event in other countries. One that obviously springs to mind is India, where large swaths of Shias live in the cities of Hyderabad and Lucknow.

There's also the ritual of Arba'een which follows Ashura by 40 days, and is considered as one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings in Karbala in Iraq. Arba'een is the Arabic word for 40, and it's the traditional length of the time of mourning in many Islamic cultures.

Chehlom is the Persian word for the "fortieth" day, which is what the event is called in Pakistan where this brand new short cinematic montage was made.

It was produced by GrayScale, an all service Television & Film Production Company based in Karachi, Pakistan with bureaus and satellite offices in the cities of Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore.

It can also be viewed on Vimeo.