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Borders to be blurred in India-Pakistan exhibition at the Exchange Ilford

07:00 11 June 2014

Men in the back of a truck, Lahore . Picture: William Titley.

Men in the back of a truck, Lahore . Picture: William Titley.

william titley

Political borders are to be blurred in an exhibition of photographs that are due to go on display at a shopping centre today at 6pm.

A child in Chandigarh. Picture: William TitleyA child in Chandigarh. Picture: William Titley

The pictures were taken by artist William Titley and are part of a five-week exhibit exploring the bordering cities of Lahore in Pakistan and Chandigarh in India.

It is being held at the Exchange Ilford shopping centre, and delves into the legacy left by empire and partition – the separation of India and Pakistan after British rule.

Redbridge College students are curating the collection, Lahore – Chandigarh: A Tale of Two Cities.

They decide how the photos are displayed and will be showing off their own work too, which takes inspiration from Titley’s photos.

The hustle and bustle of Lahore. Picture: William TitleyThe hustle and bustle of Lahore. Picture: William Titley

The artist, who is a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “The idea of communities being separated by a political border seems ludicrous and I wanted the work to encourage people to imagine the two cities as one place and to generate dialogue around issues of displacement.”

Titley’s 200 photos are displayed in black and white to help viewers focus on the people and places.

He said: “I don’t want people to be distracted by the colours.”

The images look to highlight the similarities between the two cities and have already been displayed in India and Pakistan.

A photo of the Chandigarh court house. Picture: William TitleyA photo of the Chandigarh court house. Picture: William Titley

Titley said: “The thing that did surprise me is that the communities I have shown the photos to have really taken it [the idea] on board.

“They speak the same language, they eat the same food and listen to the same music.”

He added: “We are all just one people that are separated by political borders.”

A series of talks and classes – including printing and acting workshops – will accompany the exhibition, which ends on July 19.

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