Over the past few years, art and music as a tool of resistance has given our
community hope and a voice within liberation and international freedom
movements. In 2019, the BJP decided to revoke Kashmir’s special status,
giving the green light for a settler colonial project to continue its course. For
the very first time I witnessed a fight back by Kashmiri students in London,
and for the first time I met Kashmiris from the other side. My time for
intervention, as a socialist and Kashmiri in the diaspora, had come.
This program will focus around three cultural workers: Zeeshan Nabi, a
musician; Mariyeh Mushtaq, a digital artist and political organiser; and Ather
Zia, a professor and poet. The three artists are at the heart of creative
resistance and political advocacy, making transformative changes, beyond a
military occupation and colonisation. Through music and collective
interviews, each individual’s work resembles life under curfews and a
military occupation, a threat to the daily lives of Kashmiris. Art and culture
cultivated by history and resistance and colonised by an empire. Kashmir’s
freedom is irrefutable and an integral fight against imperialism, patriarchy
and settler colonialism, a fight for all liberation and freedoms.
Shamma aka “Smoked poets” is a Kashmiri street poet and performer from East London. Her main body of work relies upon collective participation with musicians, rappers, animators, visual artists and video artists. Using grass root projects and platforms in order to amplify working class and immigrant culture and art. Her poetry has been exhibited at the Tate Modern and San Francisco, South Asian cultural festival, focusing on diaspora arts. Smoked poets lyrics signify a fight between the contradictions of a hybrid culture and immigrant life in the east end. A blend of rhymes, slang and poetic philosophy, on a mixture of live oud production and lo-fi hip hop beats.
Zeeshaan Nabi is a music producer, composer and singer-songwriter based in Kashmir. He is the co-founder of the band Ramooz. Apart from working with his band, Zeeshaan also writes and performs music as a solo artist. The idea, to merge consciously music with a wide range of genre bending sonic textures creates a foundation of his music.
Mariyeh Mushtaq (she/her/hers) is an independent researcher and artist based in Kashmir. Mariyeh is a recipient of the 2021 Creative Activism Award by Cultures of Resistance Network for her digital art project, Kashmir Pop Art- which makes use of contemporary surrealism through mixed-media illustrations, digital collage, and photography. She is mainly interested in the decolonial and feminist intersection of art, academia, and activism. Mariyeh is a graduate of the University of Delhi and completed her Masters last year in Gender, Sexuality & Culture from Birkbeck, University of London. Her research and artistic inquiry focuses primarily on gender, militarization, precarity and women’s movements in Kashmir
Ather Zia, Ph.D., is a political anthropologist, poet, short fiction writer, and columnist. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Gender Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley. Ather is the author of Resisting Disappearances: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir (June 2019), which won the 2020 Gloria Anzaldua Honorable Mention Award, the 2021 Public Anthropologist Award, and the Advocate of the Year Award 2021. She has been featured in the Femilist 2021, a list of 100 women from the Global South working on critical issues. She is the co-editor of Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak (Women Unlimited 2020), Resisting Occupation in Kashmir (Upenn 2018) and A Desolation called Peace (Harper Collins, May 2019). She has published a poetry collection The Frame (1999) and another collection is forthcoming. In 2013 Ather’s ethnographic poetry on Kashmir has won an award from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. She is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit and is the co-founder of Critical Kashmir Studies Collective, an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the Kashmir region.
Vaadi - Ramooz
I.D. (Prod. Lacuna) - Azadi Records
Nawas Wandsai Sar - Ahmad Sofi. Kashmiri