Image Credit: Till Then the Roads Carry Her/Uzma Falak
Academic: Goldie Osuri
Goldie Osuri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her work suggests a new understanding of the relation between sovereignty (political authority), (post) colonialism, memory and resistance with reference to the experience of colonialism and occupation in (post) colonial contexts.
Academic and Artist: Uzma Falak
Uzma Falak is a poet, an essayist, and a filmmaker from Kashmir. Currently, she is a DAAD Doctoral Fellow at the University of Heidelberg where she is pursuing her PhD in Anthropology. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Caravan, Himal Southasian, Cultural Anthropology, Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry, and more. Her ethnographic poem, 'Point of Departure,' won Honourable Mention in the Society for Humanistic Anthropology’s 2017 (Victor Turner) Ethnographic Poetry Award. Apart from screenings at academic conferences, her film, Till Then the Roads Carry Her, has been screened at the Open Frame Film Festival and Forum (2015) and the 12th IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival (2015).
Novelist and Invited Speaker: Mirza Waheed
Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Kashmir. His debut novel, The Collaborator (2011) was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award and the Shakti Bhat Prize, and long listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Book of Gold Leaves (2016) was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Waheed has written for the BBC, the Guardian, Granta, Al Jazeera English, The New York Times, and more.
British colonialism and (post) colonial occupation
Memory & (In) Justice will explore how art, memory, and justice are interwoven in the quest for freedoms in Kashmir.
Nearly half a million of India’s troops occupy Kashmir for a ratio of 12 million residents. Kashmir is one of the world’s most militarised zones. Since the late 1980s, according to the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, over 70,000 have been killed, over 8,000 have been enforced disappeared, and systematic detention, torture, rape, and extra-judicial killings continue.
The current Kashmir conflict is a legacy of British colonialism. The erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1846 through British sale of the region to a colonial collaborator, Maharajah Gulab Singh for sum of 75 lakhs, and yearly tokens which included one horse, twelve shawl goats and three pairs of ‘Cashmere shawls.’
Cashmere, of course, is Kashmir.
In October 1947, Maharajah signed the instrument of accession to India under duress on the condition that Kashmiris would be able to decide their future through a fair and impartial plebiscite. That promise was never kept. Kashmiri struggle for self-determination or freedom began before 1947 and continues.
When we learn of Kashmiri cultures of resistance, it becomes clear that memory plays a central role as a technique of freedom and justice.