Farhad Kanuga January 2021
Through a Glass Darkly”, opened at the Oak Street Gallery, 20 Oak Street in Asheville on January 1, 2021. It features a series of 25 images by photographer Farhad Kanuga.
The images, caught in available moments, were taken in London's public housing over a five year period starting in 2012. Although taken in London, Farhad's photographs capture a sometimes shocking, sometimes heartbreaking, but honest look at the living conditions that some of our most vulnerable citizens struggling with mental illness face daily in towns and cities throughout our country. Having little or no available support, their lives can often become hopeless and chaotic.
With images such as a cry for help scrawled on a window pane and drug paraphernalia scattered on a red table, this photo exhibition takes an unflinching look at the desperate living conditions that these residents face every day of their lives.
Farhad's eye for detail give his photographs a stunning ability to convey the intimacy of lives cloaked in despair. While almost never photographing people, but rather the conditions of their environment, the photographs are a stark and extraordinary reminder of how disparate our shared humanity can become.
Originally from London, Farhad moved to Asheville in 2017. Having studied both documentary and fashion photography Farhad considers his award for graphic documentary commentary from The Commission for Racial Equality to be a highlight. He says, "I am very happy to have found a new home here with my wife and I look forward to many years of photography in the region."
The Oak Street Gallery is an integral part of First Congregational United Church of Christ (FCUCC) Asheville. Celebrating over 100 years in Asheville, FCUCC has been at its present location since 2004. The church sees as part of its mission: advocating for racial justice; advocating for the homeless; engaging in proactive environmental stewardship; and promoting equality for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.