In this episode, Tanvi Mishra and Sanjay Kak discuss Kak’s process behind the making of two of his books – one as an editor ‘Witness: Kashmir 1986-2016 : Nine Photographers’, and the other as a publisher ‘Cups of Nun Chai’ by Alana Hunt – both distinct in their approach, yet dealing with the same conflicted landscape of Kashmir. They discuss the role of a storyteller in context of their positioning as an outsider against an insider and the persistent question of authorship. Kak speaks about the collective biographies of nine photographers of Witness, as representation of the social history of Kashmir. Mishra speaks about the tactility and the voices of the photographers and addresses the heaviness carried by the decades of time arrested in Witness. They talk about the delicate appearance of Alana Hunt in one-on-one conversations and the presence of silence encapsulating Nun Chai. They discuss the role of women photographers, growing collectives and the larger coexistence of photographers in Kashmir.

To know more about the books, please visit Witness and Cups of Nun Chai.

Tanvi Mishra

Tanvi Mishra is a Delhi-based photo editor and curator. She currently works as the Creative Director of The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture published out of Delhi. She is part of the photo-editorial team of PIX, a South Asian publication and display practice. In 2013 and 2015, she was part of the Delhi Photo Festival team in India and was a guest curator at the second edition of Photo Kathmandu, held in Nepal in 2016. She occasionally writes on photography and her work has been published in FOAM Magazine, Transformations—Exploring Changes in and Around Photography, The Caravan, amongst others. She has served on various juries, including World Press Photo 2020 and the Hindu Photojournalism Awards 2019. She is a nominator and was on the jury panel of World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass.

Photo Credit: Aditya kapoor

Sanjay Kak

Sanjay Kak is an independent documentary filmmaker and writer whose recent work includes the films Red Ant Dream (2013) about the persistence of the revolutionary ideal in India, Jashn-e-Azadi (How we celebrate freedom, 2007) about the idea of freedom in Kashmir, and Words on Water (2002) about the struggle against the Narmada dams in central India. He is the editor and publisher of the photobook, Witness – Kashmir 1986-2016, 9 Photographers which was published independently under the imprint of Yaarbal Books. At Yaarbal he has also edited and published the recent Cups of nun chai by Alana Hunt. He is the editor of the anthology Until My Freedom Has Come – The New Intifada in Kashmir (Penguin India 2011, Haymarket Books USA 2013).
To know more about the books, please visit Witness and Cups of Nun Chai.

Photo Credit: Apal