Jayanta Roy /India

Kashmir - A Heaven in Sorrow                                                                                             Leer en Español

We are living in extraordinary times. Much of the world is on lockdown because of the corona virus sweeping across the globe. Many of us are now faced with an unfamiliar situation, having to deal with restrictions on our normal behaviour. Large gatherings are now something to avoid. A lot of us are working from home, there are no sporting events taking place, and even the status of our political conventions here in the United States is uncertain.

We're doing all this to minimize the risk of being affected by the virus. But for some people, restrictions on their actions are part of daily life, corona virus or not. The people of Kashmir, for example, have been living with restrictions for decades.

Kashmir, a mountainous territory at the northernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, has been disputed between India and Pakistan since 1947. The dispute has resulted in three wars between India and Pakistan, along with many armed skirmishes. This article by Claire Parker in The Washington Post gives a more comprehensive look at the history of the conflict over Kashmir and where it stands today. One of the results of the continuing conflict is that India has imposed restrictions on the inhabitants of Kashmir.

Kashmiris are no strangers to lockdown conditions because they have been facing strong restrictions since Aug. 5, 2019, when the Indian government moved to scrap Article 370 of its constitution, which gave Kashmir some autonomous powers including the right to make its own laws.

In this bleak, black and white photographs of daily life in Kashmir remind us that even in the best of times, some people in our world are living under dire circumstances - not because of a pandemic but as the result of political forces beyond their control. As conditions around the world continue to evolve because of the corona virus, "now I want people to remember that a large population is suffering from the same pain we are facing now, but for longer than us, much before the covid-19 outbreak, and their suffering is like a never-ending nightmare.

Curator's statement:

Jayanta's imagery bring us the joy of Kashmir's beauty along with the struggle of its people as a grim reminder of the nuances of a war. His stark Black and white images gives us a peak into the years of struggle among the people of the state, who have always lived under the army rule, regular curfew as well has been subjected to constant shelling and terrorist attacks.

The quietness and the eeriness of one of India's most gorgeous valley's through Jayant's series of photographs are like a cinematic visual journey through the contradiction of its time and space.

(Sandeep Biswas)

About The photographer:- Jayanta Roy

Jayanta roy is a visual artist, using photography as a medium of expression. Through his photography Jayanta want to explore the possibility to connect the world seen and unseen; Jayanta can see the world around him with more clarity and profound depth when he uses a camera.

Jayanta Roy is based out of Kolkata, is a graduate from Calcutta University, and a self-taught photographer, for the last half-decade he has traveled extensively in the Himalayan region, from Kashmir in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east, documenting life and nature in this diverse eco-system.

He aims to develop a practice with a sensibility to human and nature both in a world which is changing rapidly due to climate change because of human activity.

He has exhibited domestically and internationally including Sony world photography awards in 2017.

Published in media like The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Better photography, Indian Quarterly, Deccan Herald, and many more.