The state of Kashmir holds a mythic place in the mind of India. Long known as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain valleys, since the late 1980s it has become synonymous with a political and sectarian conflict which strikes at the very heart of India’s identity. Delhi-based Sikka travelled throughout Kashmir in 2014 and 2015, to attempt to make some sense of this troubled region through his own personal experience. Taking inspiration from Mirza Waheed’s novel The Collaborator, which tells the story of a young Kashmiri man’s struggle with his own sense of self buffeted by the exigencies of history and the present, the resulting project is a meditation on the rich, green landscape and those who have lived and struggled within it.
Bharat Sikka (1973, New Delhi) studied at Parsons School of Design, and lives between Europe and India. Documenting contemporary visions of India, recent exhibitions include Reimagine for Photoworks/Brighton Photo Biennial 2016, and Where the flowers still grow at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 and Nature Morte in 2017. His work has been exhibited at the National Museum in New Delhi; Project 88 and Chatterjee & Lal in Mumbai; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICP, New York; Unseen, Amsterdam; and the Arles Photo Festival. His book Matter was shortlisted for the 2017 First Book Award. He is represented by Nature Morte in India.