the colour of mourning

Amal Rana explores how love can inspire revolution.

The Art of Politics

In honor of our 20th anniversary, we wanted to share our perspectives on crafting this vibrant issue, which features poetry by Bushra Rehman, Purvi Shah, YaliniDream  and Ather Zia, along with a photo essay by Sabelo Narasimhan. Together, these pieces highlight the diversity of voices in the diaspora, ranging from Narasimhan’s visual documentation of protests against New York City’s Stop-and-Frisk policy to Rehman’s tongue-in-cheek take on break-ups.

Ather Zia / Abode of the God? / Four corners of extreme pain

As a people living under an occupation which is camouflaged within a patina of democratic set-up and draconian laws, there is a constant erasure of our bodies, memories and identities. We are inflicted with active forgetting in order to survive. At the border where the direct gaze of prose is constricted with barbed wires of multiple coercions, poetry spurts forth. Poetry makes one a witness, rather than just an archivist. One’s life-blood, all that is political and emotional; lived, remaining, and forgotten coagulates into a poem.

Tonight in Kashmir

Late at night, alone but not in silence, in the capital city of Kashmir

Of Silences, Suffering and Solidarity: Facing South Asia’s “Original Sin”

A monthly column by South Asia Solidarity Initiative that discusses current social justice issues in South Asia and the imperative of transnational solidarity. This month, Mohamad Junaid and Balmurli Natrajan explore the need for South Asians to rise in solidarity with Kashmiris to set a new foundation for democracy and decency and ask some of the hard questions that the Indian and Pakistani establishments – as well as the Western news media – have been failing to ask.  

Disappeared Men and Searching Women: Human Rights and Mourning in Kashmir

Ather Zia documents how women who live with shadows of disappeared loved ones organize around human rights.  Her work chronicles the Kashmir conflict’s gendered violences that shape how these women continue to resist Indian militarism. 

The Summers of Discontent

In this photo essay reflecting on his return to Kashmir as a journalist, Talal Ansari animates some of the more recent returns to calls for independence.  He guides us from the early years of the conflict through the contemporary and renewed protest against state violence, asking rhetorically what it means  to value and support certain social movements over others after the Arab Spring.

Reflections from the Valley of Controlled Chaos

Mohsin Mohi-Ud Din gives us vignettes of his cultural work in Kashmir against the brutal terrain of violent conflict that are simultaneously hopeful and melancholic.  He points to promulgation of the word “normalcy” as a way to deny the distinct and jarring contrasts in Kashmiri life. 


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