Inside Our Homes

ADIL MANZOOR

KASHMIR continues to be the site of one of the world’s longest running conflicts: a brutal military occupancy has given rise to countless human rights violations in the region since over thirty years. With the unilateral abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, the region was stripped of the last remaining strands of legal protection guaranteed to it by the Indian constitution. In Budgam, one town a few kilometres from the summer capital of Srinagar, daily life unravels. These urgent, charcoal-sketch-like photographs document the horror of the mental health breakdown that systemic oppression and silencing has meant for the Kashmiri people. Where access to professional mental health resources remains scarce, mental illness is still associated with the work of jinn, and patients are directed to a pir, a traditional faith healer.

 

Adil Manzoor takes us inside the home of one Kashmiri family: a grandmother who keeps strips of Anxit in the pockets of her pheran; a twenty-one-year-old sister, diagnosed with schizophrenia, who at breakfast recalls nightmares of fists banging at the door, dark, half-visible figures and crawling snakes; a fourteen-year-old cousin who suffers from crippling social anxiety.  

 

These photos step in and look out, casting their gaze back at the viewer as the ‘elsewhere’ that Kashmir is so often relegated to is brought devastatingly close.

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Adil Manzoor is currently pursuing his M.A. in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia. He is an experimental photographer, and tries to speak through his photos and the visual language that sets their tune.