Endless winter - Ongoing
Friday afternoon. The prayer has just ended and the devotees turn away from Jamia Masjiid, the main mosque in Srinagar, the capital of the state Jammu and Kashmir. Indian army troops are deployed at the entry gates and observe young boys covering their faces among the crowd. The stone pelting is about to begin. Within a few minutes stun grenades explode in the air and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. From the shadows amid the clouds of tear gas raises a voice: "what do we want?". Hundreds of shadows answer vehemently: “Azadi! Azadi!” (“freedom” in Urdu language): the main slogan of the Kashmiri separatism movement. Every Friday afternoon, the message is conveyed to the Indian soldiers through a shower of stones.
The valley of Kashmir is a contested land between India and Pakistan since 1947 and one of the most militarised zone in the world. Since the 90’s, when a Kashmiri armed insurgency was bloodily suppressed, this region witnessed various political turmoil against the Indian administration but the situation has never really changed.
The starting of a new season of protests, repression and martyrs is always unpredictable. Disillusionment is in the air; new tombstones fill the graveyards and a new generation is ready to sacrifice their life for a new armed insurgency.
“Endless winter” is a visual journey through the struggle of the Kashmiri people, trapped in an endless winter of suffering whilst hoping for a spring of azadi ("freedom" in Urdu language). The valley and its people are stuck in a temporal limbo, a continuous cycle in which time has lost its ability to affect history.
With this project, I seek to reflect on the notion and the experience of conflict, memory, islamic religion in a highly politicised geographical area. Through an intimate and personal approach, I aim to question and challenge the classic “news perspective” to conflict zones in a way that raise emotions and atmospheres rather than show facts and provide informations.