Hira is an independent photographer and visual storyteller from Karachi, Pakistan. A fellow of the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice by VII Academy. She was awarded the Pakistan Photo Festival fellowship in 2021 to pursue her...
This photo series is about the unseen, unheard women workers in the glass bangle-making industry-an ancient art form dating back to 2600 BC. Its first major discovery came from the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro. In Pakistan, it was introduced by glassworkers of Firozabad (India), who settled here in the city of Hyderabad after the partition (1947). From collecting to melting glass, shaping and joining, and designing; the process involves a whole family of workers and they have been doing this for generations.
These women have been working in this industry for generations. Behind the finished shiny, glittering glass bangle, are the hands which bleed while collecting and sorting raw glass. From sorting raw glass to fixing each piece by hand in front of fire lamps- their face, hands, and feet all exposed to the raw glass, the process is painstakingly rough and dangerous. Almost 75% workforce of this industry is based on women. Recognized as an industry in 2007 under the National Employment policy, but workers are still deprived of all the social security measures.