R.M. VAUGHAN

Looking at ‘the other’ through very different lenses

Rafal Gerszak at Pikto Gallery
Until March 6, 55 Mill St., Building 59-103, Toronto; pikto.com/gallery

Two very different photographic experiences await viewers with the fortitude to go stroller-dodging through Toronto’s Distillery District.

Rafal Gerszak’s Thousand, a photo-documentary of the Hazara community in Afghanistan – a minority group who live under near-constant threat of violence from the dominant populations – is a remarkably gentle show, given the ungentle reality of the Hazara people. Taken with an old camera (i.e. using rolls of film, not digital files) that Gerszak bought in Afghanistan, the portraits and landscapes are suffused with a smoky, indistinct light, a dreamy texture that makes this largely unknown people seem even more difficult to know.

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