Once known for its majestic snow-capped Himalayas, Kashmir now hosts a militarized hotbed of insurgency and conflict between India, Pakistan, and China. Join us for an inter-disciplinary dialogue between three guests whose work shed light on Kashmir’s complex identity. You’ll hear stories of pre-partition India, lyrical accounts of village life, and one artist’s juxtaposition of dense urban environment with idyllic vistas. BBC journalist and author Mirza Waheed will read from his novel, The Collaborator, which follows a teenage boy in the remote village of Nowgam on the disputed line of control, the India-Pakistan border in 1990s Kashmir amidst unceasing warfare. Scholar-activist Angana P. Chatterji, who founded the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir, will read from the Verso anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom and other works, speaking to Kashmir’s culture of grief, the geopolitical impact of the conflict today, and the struggle for peace and justice. Kanishka Raja, the ICA Artist prize recipient who has been featured at the Greenberg Van Doren galley, will project images of his painting’s installation of Kashmir as it was imagined by pre-’80s Bollywood: as the hyper-romantic pastoral settings for the eastern equivalent of The Sound of Music.
Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Srinagar, Kashmir. He moved to Delhi when he was eighteen to study English Literature at the University of Delhi and worked as a journalist in the city for four years. He came to London in 2001 to join the BBC’s Urdu Service, where he now works as an editor.
Angana Chatterji is an anthropologist and historian. A public intellectual whose work focuses on cultural survival and social justice in India and South Asia, along with work in the United States, Dr. Chatterji’s recent writings include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present (Three Essays Collective, 2009) and a co-edited volume, Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; Notes on the Postcolonial Present (Zubaan, Due May 2012);She serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.
Kanishka Raja was born in Calcutta, India and lives and works in New York City. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States, India, and Europe. Raja is a recipient of the 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation award in painting. In 2004, he received the ICA/Digitas Artist Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. His work is included in the collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and the Meadows Art Museum, Dallas, TX.