'A photographic book project that explores the birth of a community through calisthenics*.' – with 'Journey to the Blue City (2014 – 2019)', visual artist Kashmirwala presents his photo documentary of a group of adolescents in Morocco. On display at London's The Muse Gallery (269 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LR) from 9 – 23 August are his sensitive and personal portraits.
'In every generation, youth culture finds its own mode of expression. In modern day Morocco, that zeitgeist is being expressed as creativity through calisthenics – the art of body-weight movement. 'Journey to the Blue City' follows a band of teenagers from the dusty playgrounds of Casablanca to the mountain peaks of Chefchaouen, spreading their message of comradery, empowerment and brotherhood.'
About - Ibrahim Ahmed, aka 'Kashmirwala', utilizes his camera as a tool to initiate conversations with communities. Inspired by the stories of his great grandfather Faisal Kashmirwala, a travel pioneer in the 1940s, Ibrahim seeks to connect people. Rather than creating work upon reflection of an experience, he instead orchestrates opportunities to have new adventures and throws himself into them, allowing for the art to evolve out of these experiences as a direct consequence.
Starting out in the commercial world as a music video director creating aspirational images for independent artists and due to the low-budget nature of the jobs, Ibrahim relied heavily on the skills of his DOP. And though he developed considerable skill in manipulating video in post production, he never really felt the moment was his own while someone else was holding the lens. This desire to become more involved with his subjects drove him towards photography.
Though the output of his work may exist in photographic, film, or book form, for Ibrahim, people are his medium. And he views his work as a train of thought that ties these momentary adventures together.
*Calisthenics is a form of physical training which involves a series of strenuous movements, postures and only utilizes body weight.