A disputed land between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir is today one of the most militarized zones in the world.
Soon after gaining independence from the British Empire, the two countries fought a war over Kashmir until the end of 1948. In the same year, the United Nations Security Council adopted the Resolution 47, urging the preparation of a plebiscite in order to let the Kashmiri people decide whether to join India or Pakistan.
No such plebiscite has ever been held.
Since the Nineties, Kashmir has been witnessing various political uprising against the Indian administration. Every time the Kashmiri people fought for azadi (“freedom”, in Urdu), their struggle has been silenced with blood.
Despite the unpredictable new season of protests, repression and martyrs, the situation has still not changed. The systematic violation of human rights perpetrated by Indian security forces has filled the hearts of Kashmiri men and women with disillusionment, resentment and sorrow.
It’s a collective grief pushing towards peculiar religious practices, in a desperate search for respite: the veneration of those who sacrificed their lives for the pursuit of azadi becomes the prosecution of the popular cult of dead Sufi saints.
“Monsoons never cross the mountains” is a visual journey through the struggle of the Kashmiri people, trapped in an endless season of sorrow while waiting for the spring of azadi. It is an attempt to depict the emotional landscape of the valley of Kashmir through the eyes of children, entangled in this cycle from the very beginning of their life.
Camillo Pasquarelli (1988, Rome) is interested in long-term projects adopting photography as a tool of knowledge contaminated by the self-reflective approach of anthropology.
In the last five years he has been working extensively in the valley of Kashmir, India, at first documenting the political conflict between the population and the Indian administration, and later trying to explore a more personal and oneiric approach to the issue. The project “Monsoons never cross the mountains” is published by Witty Books in December 2020.
He is one of the 20 artists selected for the FOAM Talent 2020.
His projects received several awards such as LensCulture B&W, Shortlist at PH Museum Grant, Best Rising Talent at Gomma Grant, Alexia Foundation Grant, Fotoleggendo Award, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards and Futures Photography.
Camillo’s photographs has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Europe, USA, Asia, Oceania and published in Time, Financial Times, M Le Monde Magazine, Der Spiegel, Polka, National Geographic, Internazionale, BuzzFeed, and many other international publications.