Explore little-known facets of the state's passage, or terror and conflict through its music and art
Frames from Soz: A Ballad of Maladies
"Surviving like a chinar who mourns in silence/As if to welcome a generation born in violence..." raps Roushan Illahi aka MC Kash, whose rhythmic cadence acts as the background score of the disturbingly gripping trailer of Soz: A Ballad of Maladies. "I chose hip-hop because I could relate to the slavery part. I could relate to Tupac saying, 'It's a white man's world'," says MC Kash in the documentary, directed by Tushar Madhav and Sarvnik Kaur. The duo will introduce their National Award-winning work - which captures the past and present of Kashmir through emerging voices of resistance in music - and discuss it after a screening.
"There is this mainstream narrative of Kashmir as a paradise, and as an Indian when you visit Kashmir, everything is in sync - the beautiful valleys, the delicious food... But when you scratch the surface, a parallel narrative emerges," shares Kaur, adding, "Similarly, the history of conflict in Kashmir is viewed as a Muslim-majority state opposed to a Hindu-majority nation since 1947. But conflict here dates back 400 years; it's beyond the communal spin. Kashmiris have opposed their Mughal and Sikh rulers, and a cultural critique of these regimes have found its way to folk music, which is as old."
Sarvnik Kaur and Tushar Madhav
Kaur informs that folk music tradition, which is political in nature, is the people's history that has failed to find a place in the records of state-documented history. It is in this context that the documentary explores voices of resistance - musicians, bands, performance artistes and political cartoonists amidst terror.
"The idea came when Tushar attended a CRPF-sponsored hip-hop concert at the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. Only until a few years ago, it was a military garrison and the scars of war were evident. He saw guns and guitars in the same frame, and we knew we had to make this film," says Kaur, admitting how only when the crew was stuck in Kashmir during the 2014 floods, and they interacted with the locals, did the latter's mistrust shift to trust.
Amidst music filled with anguish, satirist Zareef Ahmad Zareef reminisces about the calming Sufi music that has its roots in Kashmir, but laments, "Who should I sing the fables of Sufiyana Mosuqi to? We are deafened by the sounds of shelling."
On: August 18, 6 pm
At: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla East