The conflict in Kashmir is among the long-standing political conflicts in the world. It has taken a heavy toll on lives, on sanity and on the idea of normalcy. The film KhoonDiyBaarav made over nine years, enters the vexed political scenario in Kashmir through the lives of families of the victims of enforced disappearances. It explores memory as a mode of resistance, constantly confronting reality and morphing from the personal to the political, the individual to the collective. Struggling to find new ways of expression – storytelling, art, symbol and ritual – sometimes spilling out on to the streets, it looks at the ways in which those affected by violence have no choice but to remember. The chain of memory, often non-linear, is both their defense as well as their act of defiance against powerful instruments of the state that try to erase their individuality.
The film is a non-sequential account of personal narratives and reminiscences ruptured by violence, undermined by erasure and over-ridden by official documents that challenge truth. Opening out the real and the human as against the abstract and the brutal, the film seeks to confront advocates of amnesia in Kashmir as well as in other conflict zones. It questions the militaristic approach to resolve political problems, by which communities and lives within it get invaded and destroyed, even as it shatters personal dreams and desires. The film appeals for a political resolution to the Kashmir issue, which has by now affected five generations of people in the region.
About the Director: Iffat Fatima, an independent filmmaker from Kashmir based in Delhi, started making documentary films from 199, after her masters in Mass Communication from MCRC, JamiaMilliaIslamia, New Delhi. Her documentary films include, “Lanka- the other side of war and peace” (2005) on the issues of memory and violence in Sri Lanka;“The Kesar Saga” (2000), on story telling in Ladakh;“In the Realm of the Visual “(1998), on one of India’s most prolific and versatile artists and designersDashrath Patel;“BoojhSakey to Boojh” (1996), on the contemporory understanding of the 13th century Sufi poet and scholar Amir Khusro. Her films have been screened at important venues and film festivals in India and all over the world.
Her most recent work (2014) is a compendium on the writings of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, one of India’s foremost filmmakers and writers of the 1960’s. In 2010, her video installation “Ethnography of a European city: Conversations in Salzburg,” which questions some of the assumptions in the east west polarity/ dichotomy /disparity traveled to Berlin, Brussels, Zagreb, Vienna and Salzburg. In 2004, she completed a Fellowship on Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts, at the Brandeis University, Boston, US. In 2001, she was awarded the Asia Fellowship for her work in Sri Lanka, Intercommoned Relations and Education: The Sri Lankan Experience.Since 2006 she is working in Kashmir on the issue of Enforced Disappearances in collaboration with the Association Of Parents Of Disappeared Persons (APDP), campaigning for information on the whereabouts of their disappeared kin.