Born 1955 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Nudrat Afza is a self-taught photographer who lives and works in Bradford. Her social documentary photography approach is non-intrusive and non-voyeuristic. She records aspects of the everyday lives of people from diverse communities.
Nudrat came to Britain in 1966. Her professional career as a photographer began in 1986 when she received a grant from Yorkshire Arts to document the Bangladeshi community in Bradford.
Talking to Yorkshire Artscrene in 1989, she said:
I have always been interested in photography, but it was only in 1986 when I left social work that I began to take photographs myself. I started by photographing the people and places in Bradford where I was brought up and now live. I try to build relationships with the people in my photographs, and be sensitive rather than intrusive. My aim is to concentrate on very simple but strong and positive images, because I feel that black people have already had enough negative exposure.
She was invited in 1989 to be Photographer in Residence at Huddersfield Art Gallery and worked on an exhibition, shown in 1990, of the history of South Asian communities in Kirklees. During the same period she did a number of commissions in other towns in the North of England.
Since that time Nudrat has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work is in private and public collections. In 1992 she worked on a collaborative project with artist, Professor Conrad Atkinson, on the ‘Zones of Gold: for Emily’ exhibition at Cartwright Hall, Bradford. In 1996, Nudrat was commissioned to produce a set of ten photographs of Cartwright Hall. At the turn of the new century she was selected to take part in the ‘Year of the Artist’ project. Her social documentary exhibition, ‘One Hundred Years of Cheetham and Broughton’, was shown at the Jewish Museum, Manchester in 2001.
In 2012, Nudrat took a series of photographs of the Kenmore Hair Salon on Toller Lane, Bradford, in the final months before the owner retired after spending his entire working life there. The photographs, titled ‘The Salon’, were exhibited at the University of Bradford (see example image below).
In 2015, Nudrat photographed female fans and supporters of Bradford Football Club and, as a result, produced a 2016, ‘City Girls’, calendar of images from the project (see examples below). Other recent projects have included photographing pigeon fanciers in Sheffield, the treatment of a cancer patient, and derelict buildings in Bradford.
Copies of the ‘City Girls’ calendar can be purchased from from Nudrat. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read an article about the ‘City Girl’ and see more images at JAQUO