What They Hide

From the Series ‘Cheekh’

3 min read by Mahnoor Nasir Khan.
Published on . Updated on .
Cheekh translates to “scream” from Urdu. This series is my, as of an artist, cry to society. Women are often regarded as symbols of beauty and grace. These ideals, however, are intertwined with a horrifying and ugly existence. My works focus on the concurrence of the sacred and the profane. Women all over the world receive intentional infliction of emotional and physical distress. This often leads them to mental asylums; they often lose their families, dignity, and honour. This series explores the injustice and the evil that lives in our society. In my work, I look to convey awareness as well as a sense of hope. Cheekh gives a voice to hidden social norms. I make photographs because of the detail they help to unfold — obscuring and revealing in layers, creating the “push and pull” experience for the viewer. I physically manipulate and damage my precious 35mm film negatives, scratching them to mimic scars. The models’ nudity, closeness, the veil, and the intentional markings on the photographs are to amplify the feeling of uncertainty and spirituality, as well as anger and pain.