2017 — student award of excellence
Camillo Pasquarelli was born in Rome in 1988. Only after completing his studies in political science and anthropology decides to devote himself entirely to the reportage. With a strong training in visual anthropology, he attend several schools and workshop in Italy and abroad. Nowadays, he deals with documentary photography through the combination of the anthropological approach and the photographic medium.
In 2015 he spend five months in the valley of Kashmir for an anthropological research about the Indo-Pakistan conflict and separatist Kashmiri political sentiments. In 2016 he covered the anti-Indian uprising.
His reportages have apperead on Der Spiegel, Il Reportage, Il Manifesto, Left, The Post Internazionale, Positive Magazine, East Online, Witness Journal.
Friday afternoon. The prayer is just ended and the devotees turn away from Jamia Masjiid, the main mosque in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian army troops are deployed at the entrances and observe the young boys covering their faces. Within a few minutes the air becomes unbreathable. Numerous stun grenades explodes. From the shadows amid the clouds of tear gas raises a voice: "what do we want?" Hundreds of shadows answer vehemently: "azadi! azadi! "- "Freedom! Freedom!" - the main slogan of the Kashmiri separatism. The message is delivered to the Indian invaders along with a shower of stones every Friday afternoon.
The young stone throwers grew up during the 90s, when an armed insurgency against the indian government was bloodily suppressed by the army. They witnessed brutal violence since they opened their eyes, therefore in the heart of this generation there is no doubt: India is carrying out an unlawful occupation, only possible thanks to the 600.000 troops that make Kashmir one of the most militarized zones in the world.
In the summer of 2016, the anger erupted again because of the death of Burhan Wani, the popular commander of a separatist armed group, killed by indian troops. A new season of protests, repression and martyrs ended without concrete results but with 90 dead and thousands injured.In Srinagar, disillusionment is in the air; new tombstones fill the graveyards and fighting with the stones seems no longer enough. Burhan Wani has become a central symbol of kashmiri struggle and now many young boys seem to be ready to follow his path.
This project started in 2015 during my fieldwork in the region where i spent 5 months for my final dissertation in Anthropology. I came back in the summer of 2016 to cover the anti-indian uprising. The screaming of the Kashmiri people need to be hear not only because this is one of the longest and bloodiest conflict - since 1990 around 60,000 people died and 10,000 disappeared – but also because all the stakeholders and player involved seem not willing to solve the problem. A true and deep international awareness about the Kashmir issue is needed more than ever, before a new armed rebellion starts.
At this point of the project i want to go back in the valley and go deep inside the perception of the young generation. Explore the south of the region, the stronghold of the 2016 uprising and armed groups, and also the area close to the Pakistan border. I want to explore the small villages, outside the cities of the region, to discover their point view about the struggle, their way of fighting. I will visit a clinic of mental disease where people who were victims in the 90’s are hospitalized. I will tell the story of a group of boys who play Parkour as a form of resistance. I’m already met them in 2015.
Because of my long previous staying in the region i’m in close contact with many local journalists and news papers and the human rights association Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and Association of Parents and Disappeared Person.