We introduce photographer Muhammad Ali Wyne and his ongoing project 'Locals of Old Lahore'.
Muhammad or Ali, chose his camera as his medium to document and tell the stories of the inhabitants of Lahore, Pakistan. Ali uses Instagram as a gate through another world, perhaps a more honest and brave world than the one we are used to. The stories of each character are very well tailored, depicting the challenges and obstacles people had to overcome but also pointing out the unique perspectives and attitudes towards the future. There is love, there is hope.
“The idea to start this project was to create awareness and tell the stories of the people living in the Walled City of Lahore. I wanted to speak for the people and try to make them feel that they have a listener. This project has a big place in my heart. The reason is that it has made me love the walled city even more. Each story has a lot of lessons. It has helped me to know the old Lahore more.
And I love how people reacted to the project, reading the stories, understanding the pain and difficulties they have faced in their lives”. - Muhammad Ali Wyne
“Ayesha is a widow from Bhaati gate. While sharing her story, she said ‘My husband died a while ago. We never had a good relationship. He even used to beat me. We lived in a small house with our children. After he died, I raised my children. But they left me after they grew up and were mature enough to earn.’ She added, ‘ I do miss my children, even after what they’ve done. Being a mother, I can’t ever forget them. I am angry with them, but I still want them to return. I’ve been on the streets for a long time now. I have no one that can take care of me. I am growing old, I am all alone.”
“Muhammad Razzaq was a ticket collector by profession in Faisalabad, until he came to Lahore, living at Taxali gate, one of the 12 gates of Lahore. While sharing his story, he said ‘Both my ankles are broken, I was on a route bus when I slipped and broke both of them, 17 years ago. It doesn’t hurt anymore, I can walk a bit. I’ve been in Lahore for years.’ Talking about his family, Razzaq said ‘My family lives in Faisalabad but it's been more than a year since I’ve seen them. I am angry with them due to some reasons. I have to beg to eat and sometimes send money to my family.’
“Khalil Ahmed is a rickshaw driver from Delhi gate. Sharing his life story, Khalil said ‘I have lived at Delhi gate for 55 years. I was born here. As a rickshaw driver, it is extremely difficult for me to survive as fuel prices have increased so much. Survival for the poor is getting tougher day after day.’ He added ‘People bargain with me about the fares, saying that they are high. But, if I am to decrease the prices, how am I to feed my family? I sometimes think about how, when, and who will make things right. The poor are going to die. Sometimes, I don’t get a ride for an entire day, making it difficult to face my family with no money in hand.’
Photography and Storytelling
Muhammad Ali Wyne / @shadesof_lahore