David Fairen-Jimenez is a Reader at the University of Cambridge and Director at Immaterial. Here he explains the process of developing medical oxygen and the challenges faced during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This article is published in our Acquaintance section via Creative Commons from The Conversation (April 30, 2021).
Help Kashmir with Covid-19 Relief
A deeply embedded sense of existential threat has surrounded Kashmiris from multiple directions, materializing in varying challenges and struggles throughout their history. This letter by Murad Saleem, published in Inverse Journal’s Acquaintance (opinions/perspectives) section, addresses and problematizes such an existential threat, taking into account the struggles that Kashmiris face and the different strategies of resistance that can coalesce to carry a dispossessed people forward. As its messenger, the author of the letter has gathered words of wisdom spanning several centuries and generations, effectively delivering wisdom of his own to his fellow Kashmiris back home.
In this opinion piece Shahnaz Bashir evaluates the potential consequences and repercussions of the 53-page “New Media Policy” set to regulate the Kashmiri press in the aftermath of August 5, 2019. Inverse Journal has included a visual bibliography of additional links on the subject from recognized news and media sources.
I'm a Kashmiri. This Is What I Thought When Kanhaiya Said Kashmir Is Integral to India — by Ather Zia
In a piece originally published by Huffington Post India (25/03/2016), Professor Ather Zia problematizes Kanhaiya Kumar’s statement on Kashmir as “the mother of all gold standards for proving one’s patriotism in India.” Republished here in our Acquaintance (opinions and perspectives) section with the permission of the author.
Sushila Sahay was 15 years old when, at the peak of a worldwide debate, she decided to raise awareness about the Me Too movement among her peers and school community. The outcome, one year later, was a series of webtoons that were accessible and easy to understand, particularly for her younger generation. Inverse presents her illustrated work and a reflection on the project provided by the young student to show readers an example of how young students like Sushila approached the difficult questions arising from the Me Too movement. Included in this piece is the written reflection on the project by the young creator, the link to the two-episode webtoon, some of the early sketches from her notebook as well as the graphic short story for the print version and the presentation she gave at her school. All these combine the power of storyboarding and storytelling along with an aesthetic and visual language of a digital cartoon platform that young people within her generation are familiar with. The project entitled “Fight for Your Right” tells the story of four young women from two different cultures faced with similar situations of harassment and shows the ways in which a young student employed her creativity to discuss and raise awareness about a critically important issue.
Tabish Rafiq Mir provides a prompt critical response and interpretation to the recent Raw Mango fashion campaign that undermined the current situation in Kashmir while attempting to capitalizing on Kashmiri culture, tradition and history. The piece clearly exposes the orientalist and exoticizing gaze that repeatedly seeks to define Kashmir and Kashmris in unequal relation to India and its public, this time with Kashmiri culture becoming yet again a subject of “high end” consumerism served to a willfully oblivious Indian consumer base. Tabish Rafiq Mir’s article delves into the matter in greater detail and in unapologetic terms to expose a larger malaise that goes unquestioned as well as unnoticed. Tabish’s piece elucidates the insensitive and inconsiderate manner in which Kashmiri subjects are presented and represented beyond Kashmir, usually by non-Kashmiri others. The company has since withdrawn and recalled the release.
'War Is Hell': As Survivor of Conflict, Rep. Ilhan Omar Makes Impassioned Case Against US Attack on Iran
Addressing President Donald Trump directly, the Minnesota congresswoman said, “Do not listen to the warmongers and war profiteers whispering in your ear.”
Journalist, editor and writer Majid Maqbool addresses the youth of Kashmir in this timely letter about the multiple ways in which they can create their own platforms and rely on alternative as well as indigenous media to amplify their voices while telling their own stories. The letter problematizes how Kashmiri youth are, and can be, misrepresented, with their words being misused and misconstrued by vested interests. The letter unfolds an inspirational and highly motivating core message: to be the author of your own stories, the narrator of your own tales and teller of your own truths, by seeking the appropriate platforms to do so. With a positive and uplifting tone, the epistolar piece provides informed suggestions, insights and tips by an experienced media professional about the ways young people in Kashmir can reclaim their agency and the proprietorship of their portrayals, their self-expression and their messages to the larger world.
In this acquaintance piece, Aamir Aijaz presents the problem of patriarchy as it relates to theological (mis)interpretations by those who preach about social life and cohabitation between men and women in Kashmiri society and the subsequent affair that such men are entangled in within their own mode of (un)thinking (or blind acceptance). In doing so, the writer falls short in imagining a socio-cultural reform of sorts to alleviate the hegemonic weight of a patriarchal worldview, which is far from being subverted.
The writer fails in providing the theoretical formulations required to instantiate thinking towards a sociological paradigm shift that would offset and defeat the patriarchal hold that maintains its hegemonic structural control in Kashmiri society and in several other places around the world. The writer also fails in realizing that identifying the problem is the first step of the process and that a grassroots conceptual and ideological framework is required to drive actual change initially by means of shifts in perspective, ideally leading to a reformation of sorts.
All such failures by the writer, Aamir Aijaz, point to the void left by the need for the progressive thinking that molds this short piece into being and gives it traction for some much-needed incisive thinking past the defensive and apologetic rhetoric of those who would potentially disagree with the writer’s ‘observations as denunciations.’ As such, the piece published here in the Acquaintance section dedicated to personal accounts, commentaries, testimonies and opinions, succeeds in fueling a conversation already in progress offline, such that any failures noted in this editorial introduction are merely byproducts of unforgivable flaws (within Kashmiri society) that the writer specifically points out and denounces. In that context, the piece is quite the success when it comes to inspiring criticality towards its subject.
Of course continued repression, mass polarization, alienation and subjugation under a militarized state has not helped, instead doing the contrary by exacerbating a toxic environment for regressive thinking that then becomes the stick with which Kashmiris are struck, on a definitive basis by certain state-endorsed media outlets south of the border. Regardless, many such internally critical and collectively introspective conversations have been developing offline, with their manifestations emerging on the online platform from time to time, with this one being one of them. Any attempt by men to understand or address the complexities of systems that privilege their position and mere existence is perhaps in some minor way a small step forward towards questioning fundamental fallacies that we tend to take for granted as permanent fixtures that endow us with such privilege and position in the first place. In this, Aamir Aijaz’s opinion piece succeeds entirely to the point where his so-called failure to provide a solution to the colossal problem he presents is actually success inverted, or waiting to happen when more men who have witnessed what he relates herein take a stand.
Professor Ather Zia on The Evolution of Resistance Politics in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir
Professor Ather Zia converses with Shams Rehman of UK-based Jammu Kashmir TV in a livestream embedded herein from Facebook. The conversation is essential to understanding the genesis, development and progression of resistance politics from its history to the present times. In an informal talk that allows for greater range, Professor Zia provides a personal account of her own life experiences growing up in Kashmir to then speak of the greater questions and issues that influenced her academic, scholarly and research interests to provide viewers with a broader perspective on the subject. The Live stream is linked here directly from Jammu Kashmir TV’s Facebook Page to allow for greater access to our readers. The program featuring the talk is titled “The Whole Truth” and is conducted by Shams Rehman. For more information, please visit: www.jammukashmir.tv
Khalid Fayaz opens up about being bipolar in an unapologetic manner, discussing his experience of suffering from the condition in this piece with candid confessions to raise awareness about mental health in Kashmir. There is as usual a certain level of stigma attached to mental illness around the world and in Kashmiri society it can be more intense and detrimental. This personal account does not offer any sort of professional advice, but rather explains the experience of its writer to contextualize the illness, which in any case should be considered a mental health condition, as opposed to a mental illness. Regardless of the terminology employed, Fayaz brings forth a brave self-affirmation to open the debate on how those who suffer from his condition, and live with it day by day, are perceived and treated in Kashmiri society.
In this thorough paper, Professor Andrew Hurley reflects on his widely acclaimed translation of Borges, detailing the multiple debates in academia that revolved around his work as a translator. Hurley then presents his views on translation and summarizes the various positions on the matter from the perspective of various scholars and translators, providing a response to larger questions concerning translation, and in his particular case, his translation of Jorge Luis Borges’ “Collected Fictions.” The account details the specific trajectories for translation and covers the strategies employed by Hurley in translating Borges as well as other famous writers. This paper provides a substantial view of the manner in which a translator must task themselves with understanding the particular language of the writer that they are translating. The challenges that emerge from that sort of engagement are underlined as well.