K For Kashmir
K For Kashmir, 2015. Color, digital video, 8 minutes.
K For Kashmir explores the geo-political, social, and historical conflicts of the Kashmiri region through a personal lens. The project was born out of the need to explore my Kashmiri roots in relation to my upbringing in India, Kuwait, and Berkeley. Growing up, my mother told me many stories about the summers that her family spent at our great grandmother’s hotel in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Due to the regional conflict in the area, I wasn’t able to visit until I was a teenager. With each trip I made to the area, I became increasingly angered with the developmental, institutional, and interpersonal issues facing Kashmiris. Eventually, I decided to spend a summer in Pahalgam, with the hope of bringing visibility to some of the problems facing the region. The more time I spent there, the more I realized the need to incorporate my own position in the conversation. I deemed it necessary to navigate the dynamic of being both an insider and an outsider while exploring my original question of interest. K For Kashmir ended up becoming many things that I didn’t originally intend. Among its various functions, the film is a love letter to the people of Kashmir.