This series of photographs by Amit Mehra attempts to capture the beauty and innocence of Kashmir. For the past four years, Mehra travelled around the valley, looking for images of the people who inhabit that troubled, contested space. The media has always reflected the violence and anguish of Kashmir, he says. His attempt was to look at Kashmir beyond the violence to see ordinary Kashmiris going about the humdrum business of life.
Mehra’s romance with Kashmir began in 2006, when he accompanied his wife for a trip there. He says he was struck by the beauty of the place and it haunted him even after he returned.
That led him to embark on a photo book project. Kashmir, the resulting book, will be released later this year.
His frames capture the timeless beauty of a land that has outlasted many tyrants and a history of unrest going back centuries. Certain rhythms of life continue unchanged, despite politics.
Mehra has recently been awarded Photographer of the Year 2009 for Asia by the Sagamihara Museum, Japan, for his photography collection titled, ‘India A Timeless Celebration’. This work is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Amit Mehra lives in New Delhi.
|A woman rushes to do a chore on the outskirts of Pahalgam.|
|A man washes his vegetables in the interiors of the Dal lake. The lake is an integral part of Kashmiri livelihood.|
|Boatman enjoys his smoke on a chilly morning at Dal Gate. This is the touristy part of the lake.|
|An old man rests at the roots of an old tree in Sopore.|