All of it joins up to form a long, forever ringing arc of sadness and despair. Every bullet sound, every death, every howl, through years and decades of Kashmir’s solitary, cold suffering. For years now, for long decades now (with profound apologies to Agha Shahid), death has “turned every day in Kashmir into some family’s Karbala.”
Kashmir today, then, is Karbala more than ever. In its grief, in its vast tragedy, and in its lonely but resolute defiance. But when the houses are burned, when the children are slaughtered or their eyes stolen, Kashmir will still remain.
Mirza Waheed starts off this article looking at the tulip garden of Kashmir that moves into a heart breaking retelling of Kashmir’s never ending suffering. If there’s one thing you will read on Kashmir during this brutal start to Autumn let it be this.
Kashmir is often seen by many as a territorial dispute between South Asian nuclear rivals: India and Pakistan. But in the last 28 years, the humanitarian cost of the conflict has been extreme. Tens of thousands of people have died, thousands have been orphaned and around 8,000 people are missing. Sharafat shot these photographs in different areas of Kashmir over recent years. During this time, Kashmir witnessed some of the deadliest anti-India protests in the history of 28 years of the conflict. More than 100 children and teenagers died during 2016 alone. Sharafat’s work deals with conflict, politics, faith and daily life in the region.
The pussyhat is part of a larger contemporary phenomenon known as Craftivism, which actively challenges the longstanding disparagement of women’s traditional art forms and has itself become a vehicle for feminist opposition. Craftivists run the gamut from hobbyist cross-stitchers urging us to “smash the patriarchy” to professional artists devoting painstaking hours to gallery exhibits. The Craftivist movement inherits a long tradition stretching back to the earliest history and literature of the West: Greco-Roman writers showed again and again how feminine art forms, particularly spinning and weaving, both segregated and subordinated women while also offering them an avenue for resistance.