Kashmir Photo Collective
Founded by Nathaniel Brunt and Alisha Sett in 2014, the Kashmir Photo Collective (KPC) is a digitally accessible archive of numerous private collections created in collaboration with individuals, families, photography studios, photographers as well as institutions from the Kashmir Valley. Following the Kashmir floods of 2014, the founders, who had been working in the region for a few years, accelerated the creation of this archive to safeguard these images from future calamities and preserve the visual culture of the region.
The archive is organised on the basis of the different private collections the images have been acquired from, some of which date back to the nineteenth century. The KPC approaches individuals and families who have lived in the Kashmir Valley for three decades or more to contribute their personal photographs to the archive. Upon receiving their permission, the founders scan each image from these private albums on location, before returning with A4 printouts of them. In the second meeting, the owners provide the context of each photograph and any memories attached to it, which are then transcribed by the founders on the printout. The archive comprises scans of the photographs as well as these handwritten narratives, with the two meant to be viewed as a pair. In the future, Brunt and Sett intend to expand the archive into a formal database with an exhaustive metadata system.
Images from the Kashmir Photo Collective were exhibited as part of a group show called Archives of Persistence at Chobi Mela, Dhaka in 2020.
“Home.” Kashmir Photo Collective. Accessed April 27, 2021. https://www.kashmirphotocollective.com
S, Gowri. “Vignettes from the Valley: Documenting Kashmir through personal narratives.” The Hindu, September 12, 2020. https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/documenting-kashmir-through-personal-narratives/article32587884.ece
Sett, Alisha. “A Familial Kashmir.” Indian Quarterly, September 2019. https://indianquarterly.com/?p=6177.
––. 2020. “The Borrowed Archive. Collaborative Practices of the Kashmir Photo Collective.” In image/con/text. Documentary Practices between Journalism, Art and Activism, edited by Karen Fromm, Sophia Greiff, Malte Radtki and Anna Stemmler, 96–105. Reimer Verlag Berlin.