Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:
Indian-administered Kashmir is today the most densely militarised place in the world. Living under the military occupation of what is recognised as the world’s largest democracy, Kashmir’s people have been waiting more than 60 years for the right to self-determination. In the last 20 years more than 70,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict. The landscape, though beautiful, is embedded with trauma.
In November 2009, the Indian government cited reasons of security as they imposed a blanket ban on all pre-paid mobile phone connections across the Kashmir region. Virtually over night, more than 400,000 mobile phone users – people conducting business, college students, families, distanced lovers – were left without means of telecommunication and the event passed with little more than a murmur across the Indian media.
Remembering Kashmir from my home in Delhi, I thought of a friend who I lay next to sleeping while she spoke to her boyfriend each night on her mobile; LOVE. I thought of how another friend’s father had called and told us not to come home today because the army had begun firing at stone throwing youth outside their home; CONFLICT. I thought of the feelings of alienation the pre-paid ban would generate, and the way that it made out like all the people in Kashmir using pre-paid mobiles were suspected terrorists and I wondered what could be done: IMAGINATION.