Photos by Akbar Baloch and Paul Hester;
street installation by volunteers including Than Viachos, Michael Woodson and many more
Photographers Akbar Baloch (Lyari, Karachi) and Paul Hester (Houston) shared more than 60 photographs with VBB, and we ordered 500 prints to be used for the streets; Baloch’s contemporary images were printed in full color, while Hester’s historic black and white photos were reproduced in different shades (red, yellow, blue, green etc.). These photos were then glued on a rectangular grid of streets: Andrews, the only remaining street with original bricks from more than 100 years ago and where the Rutherford B.H.Yates Museum, the Diaz-Anderson townhome are located; Cleveland Street where VBB’s video-dome was located and also where the Gregory School entrance stands; Mathews Street that connects Cleveland and Andrews streets on the east; and Wilson Street that connects Cleveland and Andrews streets on the west.
On the morning of the show, a dozen volunteers led by VBB’s interim director Michael Woodson, Amanda Hart and Than Viachos, jumped in to help with the installation, which was a bigger challenge than the producers of the show had predicted. The installation was time-consuming and taxing; many runs had to be made to the store in order to purchase glue. For a while, the plan was held up at Wilson Street where a funeral for one of the neighborhood residents was taking place. Finally, once the funeral services ended – just 30 minutes prior to the opening of Homes and Histories - volunteers were able to race over and glue down some photographs.
After the show ended, some residents didn’t want the photos removed – they wanted the images to remain for as long as possible so they could be reminded of the show, while others wanted all images removed immediately.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Akbar Baloch is a senior photographer who has been documenting Lyari and Karachi for four decades. A resident of Lyari, Baloch brings a unique perspective from his community.
Photographer Paul Hester has exhibited his photographs all over the world, including Houston. He has earned grants from the NEA and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.