Fariha, Chipursan Valley, Hunza, Pakistan 202

Fariha, Chipursan Valley, Hunza, Pakistan 202

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I made this picture of Fariha, a Wakhi girl in Chipursan, Hunza, northern Pakistan. This fertile high elevation valley region is home to the Wakhi people – prosperous, well educated, and self-sufficient farmers of grain, potatoes, vegetables, meat and dairy, with a profitable export market for disease-free seed potatoes–and some of the most friendly and hospitable people in the world. 

I photographed Fariha below the roof hole of her home’s central room – an enclosure built without windows around a hearth to conserve heat. Traditional Wakhi houses are single storied, made of mud and stones. The central room is designed with raised platforms at different heights, each for a different purpose or status, with five symbolic pillars and a diamond-shaped hole in the roof for smoke and light. The floor is mud, covered with carpets or animal skins and the door, roof-hole, pillars, and sometimes the platforms are made of wood.

Because the Wakhi are Ismaili Muslims – a branch of Shia Islam whose Imam is His Highness the Aga Khan – I was allowed to photograph their women. Among the Ismailis, women are free, educated, independent and unveiled. Ismailis do not practice gender segregation and the women are encouraged to participate in all social and political affairs.

Prints are on Hahnemuhle heavyweight (315 gsm) 100% archival cotton “Photo Rag Baryta” paper, using archival inks and archival spray coating. They have a 200-year life expectancy before any deterioration of the print will be observed when stored, handled, and displayed under archival conditions.

What is often called “Gallery Wrap Canvas” is a fine art inkjet (Giclee) print on canvas, with printed edges to wrap around a wooden stretcher frame, like a painting. With canvas prints, your print image is still the same size, but given a "wrap effect" around the edges to account for the thickness of the stretcher. Canvas can be rolled and shipped with no effect to the print. Your local framing shop should be able to mount the canvas to stretchers at a fraction of the cost of traditional framing, making for an overall more economical way to get fine art on your wall. The canvas is printed to wrap around a 1-inch stretcher (1.5 inches on larger sizes). Specifications will be provided with your order. Feel free to contact us if you need guidance with your canvas order.

John prints, titles, dates, and signs all of his photos.

CUSTOM ORDERS: For custom orders of prints shipped flat, framed, or as stretched canvas, contact