Admission free, apply online (seats limited, please book early)

Organiser: Dr Dibyesh Anand, Emerging Powers Programme, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Screening of two short documentary films ('A Journey through River Vitasta' and 'Faith Divided: Spirituality Caught in Conflict', 17 and 20 minutes long) followed by a panel discussion on the conundrum of representing/writing about a people living in a conflict region. In the panel, the movie makers Mohammad Irfan Dar and Muhammad Arif Urfi will be joined by Dr Nitasha Kaul (author, novelist, scholar).

Film screening of 'A Journey through River Vitasta' (stories of people caught in the conflict and of families separated by the LoC between India and Pakistan) and 'Faith Divided: Spirituality Caught in Conflict' (focuses on places of worship on either side of the LoC that the conflict has rendered inaccessible to people on the other side of the divide). The film production process for these projects was particularly challenging for the filmmakers involved who did not meet at all during the filming before coming together to jointly edit the film in a third location. The films aim at being a creative medium for peacebuilding messages. The filmmakers are in London for one month on Commonwealth Professional Scholarship facilitated by Conciliation Resources, a peacebuilding NGO supporting people at the heart of conflicts who are striving to find solutions.

Biographies

Dr Nitasha Kaul has published widely in several groundbreaking collections and addressed diverse audiences around the world on many themes with a central focus on identity, democracy, creativity, political economy, Kashmir and Bhutan. She has authored books including the scholarly monograph, Imagining Economics Otherwise (Routledge, 2007/2008), and a novel Residue (Rainlight, 2014) that was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009. She has delivered invited lectures and keynotes at universities around the world (Stanford, Harvard, Goethe-Frankfurt, California-Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, Leiden, ANU, Goteborg), speaks to creative gatherings and the media (such as at literary events, OpenDemocracy, The Guardian, BBC, Monocle 24, Kindlemag.in), and has addressed forums including the UN in New York. She can be found at www.nitashakaul.com

Mohammad Irfan Dar was born and grew midst the political conflict of Kashmir. For the past 8 years he has been working with the social and cultural spaces on the Indian side of Kashmir. Irfan’s main focus has been working with the children of Kashmir through visual arts, performing arts and cinema workshops and trainings modules to help children tell their stories to the world. Irfan has been making films for the past four years now and has also co-founded a storytelling outfit, Red Stone Films.

Muhammad Arif Urfi is a senior journalist and runs the Geo News Bureau in Muzaffarabad. He has wide experience of working with print and electronic media, including the Television News Network (TNN) and Reuters. During his earlier work with the Pakistan Television (PTV), he regularly covered India-Pakistan escalation across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Urfi has also produced documentaries for different organisations including Community Participation (World Bank), First Step (World Food Programme), Builders of the Future (UNDP) and Pollination Problems in Pakistan (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development).