Kashmir: Photography as Witness and Memory

November 16, 2019

Sanjay Kak in conversation with Samir Gandesha on “Witness/Kashmir”

Saturday, November 16th, 2:00PM–4:00PM, Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre

Organized by South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), with the support of Hari Sharma Foundation, SFU's Institute for the Humanities, and Indian Summer Festival. 

Seven million people in Kashmir valley are under virtual imprisonment since August 5, 2019, with little freedom of movement, no communication, and the armed presence of some seven hundred thousand military, paramilitary, and police. This is the culmination of thirty years of repression. Filmmaker Sanjay Kak speaks of Kashmiri photographers as witness.


Sanjay Kak is an independent documentary filmmaker and writer whose recent work includes the films Red Ant Dream (2013) about the persistence of the revolutionary ideal in India, Jashn-e-Azadi (How we celebrate freedom, 2007) about the idea of freedom in Kashmir, and Words on Water (2002) about the struggle against the Narmada dams in central India. In 2017 he curated, edited and published the critically acclaimed photobook, Witness—Kashmir 1986-2016, 9 Photographers, published independently under the imprint of Yaarbal books. He is the editor of the anthology Until My Freedom Has Come—The New Intifada in Kashmir (Penguin India 2011, Haymarket Books USA 2013). A self-taught filmmaker, he writes occasional political commentary, and reviews books that he is passionately engaged by. He has been active with the documentary cinema movement in India, and with the Cinema of Resistance project.

Samir Gandesha is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has appeared in Political Theory, New German Critique, Kant Studien, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Topia, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Art Papers, the Cambridge Companion to Adorno and Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader as well as in several other edited books. He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of "Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations" (Stanford, 2012). He is coedittor with Johan Hartle of "Reification and Spectacle: On the Timeliness of Western Marxism" (University of Amsterdam Press) and of "Aesthetic Marx" (Bloomsbury Press) also co-edited with Johan Hartle.

Contact: Chinmoy Banerjee (cbanerjee@telus.net)