© Simone Mestroni 2018

Kabristan-Land of Graves

Kabristan, meaning graveyard in Urdu, is an attempt to represent the paralysed potential of Kashmir’s conflict, the mixture of anthropological and ideological elements temporary static like tombs, but ready to explode into a new stage of violence. The project was developed in Srinagar, the valley’s main city and the core of the Kashmir’s political history, and it blends different aspects of the relation between people and the pressure of the past, primarily perceived as a deadly atmosphere which intertwines with inner and outer landscapes. Based on a long term ethnographic research, the essay is composed by series of visual gravestones, differently balanced in their aesthetic and metaphorical composition, just giving the impression of an intimate tension between the past and the future, grief and anger, introspection and violence, political utopia and bitter realities of the conflict.

Photo 5 - Bashir (19 years old), portrayed inside a vandalized Hindu temple. Bashir is often involved in stone-throwing riots (kani-jang, stone-battles) against Indian soldiers which use to take place near the main mosque after Friday's prayers (Simone Mestroni, Srinagar, India, June 2018).