4 months ago

From the Streets of Kashmir to the Heart of Palestine — A Photograph by Zainab

Earlier this week, a photograph was circulated on social media platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) showing a Kashmiri man marching…

Photographer's Note


It was the last Friday of Ramadan, and I was on my way to catch a bus for Jamia Masjid while walking through the bylanes of Maisum. This man carrying a huge Palestinian flag caught my attention. I assume the Youm-e Quds protest had just concluded in the locality, and he was taking the flag home, fearlessly carrying it on his shoulder. To share some context about the neighbourhood, Maisum is highly militarised as it is also where Yasin Malik—leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)—resides. Over the last three decades, Fridays in this locality have been especially tense.

Immediately upon seeing the man with the flag of Palestine marching, I was a little nervous to take out my camera and photograph him. Taking the camera out would have only made him conscious and aware of my presence, which could have potentially been perceived as disruptive or even disrespectful towards his sense of privacy. But I also did not want to miss this visual that summed up Kashmir's solidarity with Palestinians so well and within such an ephemeral moment that was unfolding right before me. Hence, I took out my phone camera, and waited for the man to get ahead of me, so that I could photograph him from the back, so as to not reveal his identity. And that is how this photograph was made in the month of May, 2019.

A man carries a Palestinian flag on his shoulder in Srinagar's Maisum on the eve of Youm-e Quds.
May 2019. Srinagar, Kashmir. Digital.
Photograph by Zainab.

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Zainab is a visual artist and writer based in Kashmir. She is currently pursuing Bachelors in Mass Communication and Media Production from Women's College, Srinagar. She is the co-founder of Her Pixel Story which is a growing women's photography collective from Kashmir.