for pad.ma

A conversation between Saeed Mirza, the director and a local young man from the Kashmiri Pundit Refugee Camp about the ethics of documentary film making and art in general, especially with respect to places in conflict.

The question of whether it might be feasible or safe to travel without security in these regions because the film-maker chooses to situate him or herself in a position of neutrality (“Mera dil khula hai”-Saeed Mirza), and what this neutrality could mean to the State which is in the process enforcing order and protecting people in whatever way it can. The young man brings up the case of 7 film-makers from abroad who were killed in the valley.

Mirza brings up the responsibility of an artist and posits himself as someone committed to bringing out the truth, to whatever end (“because politicians are a different breed”).The young man then brings up the more important issue of funding (“where the money comes from”).And then, he briefly touches upon an incident where he with some people went to hoist the Indian Flag at the Valley, a courageous act considering its situation.

The crew then moves on upwards towards Srinagar, driving through the valley.

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