In The Same River
Kashmir’s tehreek (resistance movement) is not just a struggle for justice, it is also a struggle of memory against forgetting. In a conflict zone, every photograph we make becomes a memory, proof of the state’s impunity. Above all the history of our resistance. Through this archive, I am trying to understand how the victims and their families memorialize the absence of their loved ones to fuel the resistance movement.
The idea behind the form is not based on the materiality of photos but the process of memorialization of these images. I felt the intimacy, the information and the individuality of these acts of violence are better magnified if it takes the form of a book and an installation. These photos are mostly taken from family albums or something that is locked inside a cupboard in the victim’s house.
For many it is a pandora box, they don’t open it regularly but if someone like me, an outsider, wants to talk about their tehreek, they hide their pain to talk about the Injustice because these families believe that they will be heard someday. They are using all the opportunities to let the world know about India’s constitutional occupation.
I envision this form to be intimate and informational. During our visit to one of the victim’s family, we found a Locked box of the victim’s belongings which we didn’t open because the victim’s brother felt it was his “Amanat “, a valuable possession for the possessor. These made me realise that the other families have given their precious memories to me. Thus this work ended up being my Amanat, I want these photographs to be a small part of the greatest possession for Kashmir memory. Our remembrance is our resistance.
Siva Sai Jeevanantham is a 25-year-old visual artist based in Chennai, India. He is a graduate of Photography Design from National Institute of Design (NID), India. Siva Sai started his photography practice in 2012, during his practice he explored different mediums of image-making. Through his personal and documentary practice, he intends to create cognitive dissonance in human minds. His area of enquires revolves around human conflicts and satire. The idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ has always intrigued him, and his work refuses to conform to this binary. Exploring the grey area of human righteousness based on subjective relativism is something that he aims to achieve through his practice.