Mobeen Ansari can be defined through several creative prisms. He is an immensely talented sculptor, filmmaker and breathtaking photographer from Pakistan. He narrates the historical stories of his country through his work and highlights the diversity of its people and places.
At three weeks of age, Mobeen lost his hearing due to severe meningitis. Due to this hearing impairment, he remained introvert in most of his early years. In his O-levels, his father bought him a digital camera. The camera helped better than any hearing aid for communicating his emotions.
One day, Mobeen’s class fellow lost a fight in the basketball court and started crying. Mobeen took picture of that moment and that’s how he experienced the feeling of being connected with his class fellow’s anguish. Gradually, he started liking the idea of capturing spontaneous human’s emotions.
His photographs and paintings provided him a way to communicate with the world that otherwise was challenging. Mobeen’s work not only demonstrates the hidden depth of his subject but also reflect bits of his own self.
Mobeen started off as an amateur photographer covering concerts for the band Noori but now, sixteen years later, he has much to show in his portfolio.
As a photographer, Mobeen passionately works in the development sector. He has been actively involved in numerous campaigns and projects. In 2013, he was commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for capturing photographs of unsung heroes and back end workers.
As a filmmaker, Mobeen has successfully released two short films. His first film, Hellhole – released in 2016, covers the life of “Gutter Cleaners”. As the story says, this film aimed to capture the often forgotten humanity of one such worker.
His second film, Lady of the Emerald Scarf – released in 2018, is based on the life of Aziza, a carpet maker and shepherd, spread through winter and spring seasons. It was set in the heart of Gulmit village in Gilgit Baltistan (Northern Pakistan). The film shows her relationship with her surroundings, with the focus on the symbology of emerald, the color of her scarf.
Mobeen has also published two photography books with the name Dharkan: The Heartbeat of a Nation and The White in the Flag. Dharkan holds portraits of iconic people of Pakistan and unsung heroes.
On the other hand, White in the Flag depicts the lives and festivities of religious minorities of Pakistan. Both of his books have been endorsed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who has been photographed by Mobeen a few times.