A land disputed between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir is today one of the most militarised areas in the world. Soon after gaining independence from the British Empire, the two countries clashed in a war for the region that lasted until the end of 1948. In the same year, the UN Security Council adopted the so-called ‘Resolution 47’, urging preparation for a plebiscite to let the people of Kashmir decide whether to join India or Pakistan. However, this plebiscite never took place.
Since the 1990s, Kashmir has witnessed several political uprisings against the Indian administration. Whenever the people of Kashmir have fought to gain the longed-for Azadi (‘freedom’ in Urdu), their struggle has been silenced with blood.
In spite of a new season of protests, repression and martyrs, the situation still hasn’t changed. The systematic violation of human rights by the Indian security forces has filled the hearts of Kashmiri men and women with disillusionment, resentment and grief.
It is a collective grief that drives towards peculiar religious practices, in a desperate search for respite: the veneration of those who sacrificed their lives in the search for Azadi becomes the continuation of the popular cult of dead Sufi saints.
“Monsoons never cross the mountains” is ultimately a visual journey through the struggle of the Kashmiri people, trapped in an endless season of pain waiting for the Azadi spring. It is an attempt to portray the emotional landscape of the Kashmir valley through the eyes of children, who are involved in this cycle from the beginning of their lives.