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Work of Mourning in Kashmir

Ather Zia 29 June 2012 7 am. The newspaper guy’s voice sounded wistful; “Dasgir’s Saeb’s shrine at Khanyar is burning”. My father grimaced painfully. My mother heard the news, unusually contained for a person who offered most of her prayers there. She did not utter a word. Her steaming cup of Chai turned cold while […]

Aylan Kurdi: A political murder masked as a drowning

Ather Zia (2015) First Published here at Daily Vox: http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/aylan-kurdi-a-political-murder-masked-as-a-drowning/ Since yesterday, my social media newsfeed has been replete with images of the tiny lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who washed ashore on a Turkish beach. After being refused asylum by the Canadian government, Aylan’s family was headed to the tiny […]

Disappeared Men and Searching Women: Human Rights and Mourning in Kashmir

Ather Zia [First Published on SAMAR http://samarmagazine.org/archive/articles/364] In not so recent past most Kashmiri women shared two notable traits. They did not like to buy meat from the butcher and at no cost would they make their grief public. The butcher’s shop was a shunned site maybe because it typified exposure to uncouth, aggressive and […]

Spectacle of Indian National Project

Ather Zia Why Afzal was killed in custody without even a patina of a fair trial? Why did India, which masquerades as a democracy in Kashmir, give in to a ‘murderous’ due process? I will not go into the nitty-gritty of the case which was cooked to kill Afzal. I do not want to repeat […]

Kashmir’s Stone Pelter Answers to Questions from Someone called the Sovereign

Ather Zia September 28th, 2010, originally published in Dissident Voice You ask about his birth? No, no he was not born today. No not at the time you see him, frozen in the frames of countless magazines and screens, aggressive and intent on throwing the stone at the well armed and armored Indian trooper whose […]

In the Killing Fields of Kashmir (aka Paradise on Earth)

originally published in 2010, Dissident Voice, http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/09/in-the-killing-fields-of-kashmir-aka-paradise-on-earth/ The scene at the Srinagar airport was as fraught as it was baffling outside. The Kashmir policemen lolled in the chairs, one stood up lazily as the passengers filed in, with a careless point of the baton he instructed anyone a shade lighter to go to the immigration […]

Kashmiri Women: Concerns, Milestones & Solutions

Ather Zia originally published in Kashmir Affairs, UK, July 30 2007. For the last 16 years Kashmir has been embroiled in a fulminating manifestation of a turmoil that has been simmering since 1947. The issue is protracted and violent, having taken a massive toll on human lives. Women amidst the mayhem have been equal recipients […]

Violence Against Women in Kashmir

Read the article Violence Agaisnt Women in Women Without Borders Newsletter here Violence against Women in Kashmir

Ather Zia / Abode of the God? / Four corners of extreme pain

Ather Zia Artist Statement As a people living under an occupation which is camouflaged within a patina of democratic set-up and draconian laws, there is a constant erasure of our bodies, memories and identities. We are inflicted with active forgetting in order to survive. At the border where the direct gaze of prose is constricted […]

Search for the Disappeared in Kashmir: Spectacles of Human Rights, Mourning and Memorialization

In not so recent past most Kashmiri women shared two notable traits. They did not like to buy meat from the butcher and at no cost would they make their grief public. The butcher’s shop was a shunned site maybe because it typified exposure to uncouth, aggressive and bloody masculinity. As for grief, it was […]

A Saga of Ambiguity and Disenchantment

Kashmir and elections share a tense and confusing history. It is a history wherein some men take to opportunist politics, some are reluctant to participate, some steer clear while women, ironically, become visible through their near-absence. The polity in Kashmir is a peculiar species and what may be seen as a democratic value elsewhere does […]

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