Fiction

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Homecoming — by Zahida War

Zahida War presents a piece of fiction that combines poetry and prose to narrate the story of a young Kashmiri woman, Zooni, who returns to her birthplace after living abroad (India) for several years. In the process of her return, Zooni becomes raveled in the militarized reality of Kashmir and its grotesque violence, far from the touristic imaginarium that her host country had built in her mind. Still a young student, Zooni leaves all familiarity behind, along with the illusions formed in her understanding of Kashmir, to engage with a place that is confined to countless devastations, multiple horrors and endless human tragedies. This fictional piece was written in 2016, a painfully symbolic year for Kashmiris, and is accompanied by an afterword by its author.

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Non-Fiction

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Reporting News and Psychology — by Amir Sultan

As a researcher in Psychology, Amir Sultan writes about relevant concepts and terms developed in his field through academic research done on two particular cases of cold-blooded murder. The piece offers interesting observations about studies in Psychology that relate to the world of news reporting. Some of the events discussed and referenced via hyperlink to their direct sources are of a violent nature. Reader and viewer discretion is advised for those sensitive to such events covered widely in the news.

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Poetry

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On the Brink of Dreams — A Poem by Kamran Bashir

Although Kamran Bashir’s poem is charged with lived experiences from his native Tral, his verses are relatable to every corner of Kashmir, and in particular the rural side, where the night becomes a battleground for sleep and a territory occupied by insomnia. The conflict between sleep and sleeplessness is best conveyed by the vigil of Bashir’s verses that venture far beyond the question of sleep in the many nights that both Tral and Kashmir have seen.

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Film

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RIP: A Remix Manifesto (2008) — Directed by Brett Gaylor

Immerse yourself in the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media with RiP: A Remix Manifesto. Let web activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis, better known as Girl Talk, serve as your digital tour guides on a probing investigation into how culture builds upon culture in the information age.

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Music

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Kashmiri Rock Feature: Aalav — by Ramooz

Kashmir-based rock band Ramooz releases the music video for the first track from their upcoming album conceived and recorded during eight months of lockdown in Srinagar. The song “Aalav”, performed in Kashmiri, is infused with emotive lyricism matched by the evocative imagery of its music video. While some might engage with this music video from the frame of a “memoryscape”, its lyrical range and complex scenography ventures equally into the terrain of a “dreamscape”, where disjointed subtexts and multiple motifs point to a story outside of the frame and hidden deep within its contours. As such, “Aalav” (the call) is as evocative as memory and as elusive as dream, and not easily served to literalists. Video credits, relevant links and lyrics included.

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Art

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Drawing Voices From a Well of Silence — Two Illustrative Works by Khytul Abyad

Emerging Kashmiri artist Khytul Abyad brings us two of her illustrative works that can be viewed as standalone pieces or part of a greater patchwork that tells the story of her birthplace. Khytul has operated exclusively in the realm of Kashmiri contemporary art since her recent days as a student, working as a visual artist exploring different mediums and styles to develop a visual vocabulary of her own. Here she presents two pieces that venture into the realm of storytelling via illustration in line with the graphic novel.

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Photography

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Before the Lockdown — by Swasti Acharya

Swasti Acharya presents a series of photographs that she produced seven years ago, in June of 2013. The series “Before the Lockdown” retrieves, as photographs often do, what is set to be lost or displaced in one way or another (as memory or as something else). In such images, the eternity of a time past reverberates in visuals of everyday life, beyond the limits of enforced change and beyond a controlled liminality that has continuously besieged Kashmir, as if it were some sort of a “liminal space” made such for its own inhabitants (if one is to be reminded of the martial reality that exists beyond such innocent and unassuming visual framing). In more ways than one, Acharya’s visuals of Kashmir elucidate how photography is an art where “capturing” and “retrieving” can be harmonious and not disruptive as far as image-making is concerned, and that too through the unfamiliar lens of an unaccustomed outsider who goes back in time to recover visuals of something that tomorrow might not remain the same or might altogether have been forcefully transformed into something else. This series is published with a note by the young photographer along with relevant captions that go beyond any editorial framing and interpretations presented in this editorial introduction.

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Books

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Book (Full Text): Pedagogics of Liberation: A Latin American Philosophy of Education — by Enrique Dussel

Enrique Dussel is considered one of the founding philosophers of liberation in the Latin American tradition, an influential arm of what is now called decoloniality. While he is astoundingly prolific, relatively few of his works can be found in English translation — and none of these focus specifically on education. Founding members of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society David I. Backer and Cecilia Diego bring to us Dussel’s "The Pedagogics of Liberation: A Latin American Philosophy of Education", the first English translation of Dussel’s thinking on education, and also the first translation of any part of his landmark multi-volume work "Towards an Ethics of Latin American Liberation."

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Academia

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Performing the Hyphen — by Miki Seifert

The goal of this paper is to present a decolonising research methodology. The first section of this paper problematises western knowledge production, using Aníbal Quijano’s colonial matrix of power. The second section theorises how an epistemological pluralism that is critical, decolonising and performative could address western knowledge production and the colonial matrix of power. The third section discusses how this methodology has been applied to Butoh to develop Critical Butoh. The final section presents He rawe tona kakahu/ She wore a becoming dress, a Butoh performance exploring the intersection of gender and colonisation, as a practical application of this methodology.

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Acquaintance

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On the Securitisation of Truth and Facts: How I Lost my Brother — by Syed Tajamul Imran

Syed Tajamul Imran responds to an opinion piece by SSP Sandeep Chaudhary entitled “TIME drew red X for Osama. But Western press humanised Riyaz Naikoo with pre-gun stories” (The Print). In a rather extensive opinion piece of his own, featured here in the Acquaintance section of Inverse Journal, Tajamul Imran provides an incisive critique of SSP Chaudhary’s “indictment as opinion piece” while covering major issues of relevance overlooked by its author. The young student activist and columnist then proceeds to narrate how his own late brother, Syed Ruban, became a militant commander after being tortured in illegal detention, tying his experience to that of many other youth who joined militancy after being subject to such unlawful treatment. 

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Kashmir 2019 Siege

The following special section in Inverse Journal was created specifically to compile a collection of articles, media, interviews and academic writing about the current situation in Kashmir. All of the views, perspectives and accounts presented in this section are directly linked to other media outlets, mostly international and Indian, and displayed in a Pinterest-like manner. In the spirit of proper citation, all such articles and media are embedded and linked directly from their respective sources and are displayed in response to the Indian government (and its ruling party) repealing Articles 370 and 35A from the Indian constitution, thereby forcing Kashmir to become a part of the Union Territories without democratic consent of any sort from the people of Kashmir.

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This section was created after Kashmir was put under military and police lock down, television and media outlets were stopped from broadcasting and publishing, telephone and internet connections were shutdown and a military curfew was imposed on the Kashmiri population. As more voices from Kashmir emerge past this media and internet blockade, this section will remain relatively updated. Meanwhile, we are compelled to focus on the inputs and perspectives provided by notable scholars, intellectuals, journalists, writers and experts from diverse fields of knowledge who specialize in Kashmir, the conflict imposed on its people and its unresolved history.

Inverse Journal was specifically created to promote cross-cultural dialogue through various vectors of engagement with contemporary culture, art, fiction, music, film, photography and scholarship from Kashmir to other parts of the world and vice versa. This independent initiative was envisioned to become a multicultural round table where different writers, artists, scholars, poets, and culture producers of various ages, backgrounds and levels of expertise could find a common forum. One of the primary motives was to establish the appreciation for the arts, humanities, contemporary culture and scholarship as a common ground from which Kashmir could find itself more connected with international communities dedicated to similar interests. Ironically, with the current media blackout, disconnection of internet, telephone and mobile services and a military curfew in place, the contrary has again been enforced by state policy. As such, this journal finds itself unable to ignore the ongoing situation of siege that has disconnected Kashmir and Kashmiris from the rest of the world and instead has had to focus on bringing attention to the current issue at hand.

As an experimental project, Inverse Journal has been lagging behind in carrying out its routine tasks since the Indian election and its preparations, which clearly and loudly indicated that major shifts were about to be enforced upon Kashmir and its peoples. In the spirit of diversity, we had planned on maintaining and growing this journal as an alternative space given that the routine interjections by those in power in everyday civilian life make it impossible for other Kashmiri publications to not cover the situation of conflict (and violence) that Kashmir has been subject to since before the partition of India and Pakistan and the events that have followed. Now those publications, and particularly the independent and alternative ones, have been silenced while only the Kashmiri diaspora and the global community is able to get a word out.

Following citation and bibliographical practices, this section compiles the perspectives and erudite positions of those who are compelled to speak about the millions of Kashmiris under lock-down and siege, particularly in absence of the Kashmiri press and ground-level inputs that are somehow slowly emerging due to the diligent work of journalists and other professionals.

All the views and perspectives presented here, even the ones from editorial introductions for each Pinterest-like post, are based on the articles, interviews, media interjections, and opinion pieces referenced in such posts in an attempt to present a Kashmiri perspective well beyond the amplified state-endorsing media's take on the situation.

To our contributors, we regret the delays in our publication schedule and hope to have your writings featured as soon as its is rationally possible. Do let us know via email if you wish to withdraw your submissions in case you have chosen to publish elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Amjad Majid,Founder/Editor,Inverse Journal,August 5th, 2019

Kashmir 2019 Siege

Latest

Ensure Press Freedom in Kashmir — Noam Chomsky, Ayesha Jalal, Tariq Ali, Hamid Dabashi and Several Prominent Figures Endorse Letter Addressing the UN and Worldwide Organizations with 450+ Signatures by Academics, Journalists, Writers, Researchers

Prominent figures from academia and worldwide press along with several researchers and scholars have endorsed a written a letter and its petition to the UN and several international organizations to demand protection and freedom of press for Kashmiri journalists “charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)” that “can carry jail time of two to ten years” and without bail, for doing their job as journalists reporting from and about Kashmir. The letter covers the last few years of state-sanctioned targeting of Kashmir journalists, particularly since August 5, 2019, when India revoked Articles 370 and 35A while maintaining Kashmir under a media, communications, telephonic and press lockdown that a wide majority of Kashmir observers, scholars and experts have called “a siege.” With only 2G internet and mobile telephony restored recently and the press allowed to operate under constant threat of persecution in Kashmir, a new series of cases have been filed against Kashmiri journalists through the “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Inverse Journal has embedded this letter directly from its source and provided a series of “relevant links” embedded directly from their respective sources covering this series of events.

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From the Editor

2019 — A Year in Review at Inverse Journal

 Inverse Journal just completed a year of exploration this month after its already troubled launch on February 1, 2019. As such, we are proud to present (in a scrollable timeline) the writings, ideas and work by our many contributors from Kashmir and across the globe who shaped our 2019 in this small but persistent community of readers, writers, artists, poets, filmmakers, scholars, journalists and creatives from multiple fields. 2019 has been the year when—struggling (while still struggling)—the journal took off from South Kashmir and into uncharted territory—risking the attempt to connect diverse peoples from different backgrounds, all sharing in common the features of contemporary culture that make us one: our verses, our stories, our songs, our films, our incisive critical thinking, our contemporary ideas, our research, our scholarship and above all, our voices.

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Call to Submissions for Photographers: Kashmir - Paint the Day as Night

Inverse Journal invites photographers of all backgrounds to participate in a running series entitled “Kashmir: Paint the Day as Night” to present their black and white photography in a photo story format, with a maximum of 15 black and white photographs accompanied by descriptive captions contextualizing each photograph (maximum caption size should be one short paragraph or 100 words). The selected and published photo stories will be featured under the title “Kashmir: Paint the Day as Night [series number] – by [photographer name]” and will include an editorial introduction, with the photographer being credited as contributor on Inverse Journal’s platform.

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Inverse Journal: A Basic Introduction — by Amjad Majid

In an attempt to develop conversations, dialogues, discussions and exchanges of ideas about contemporary culture from Kashmir to the world beyond the Himalayas, Inverse Journal has arrived to establish a space and a platform for a wide array of culture producers and an interested readership. The journal primarily focuses on contemporary art forms, from fiction, poetry, art, photography, music to scholarly essays and articles, but also intends to create global and multicultural intersections through this common space. We are expecting half of our submissions to come from Kashmiri culture producers and the remaining half will depend on a variety of contributions to the journal made from a diverse group of international contributors.

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