Information for/from Outsiders: Chronicles from Kashmir has been in development since 2013, as a collaboration between Dr. Nandita Dinesh and the Ensemble Kashmir Theatre Akademi in Srinagar. Chronicles from Kashmir uses Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro’s (1992) Information for Foreigners as its point of departure; it takes place in the promenade and is site-adaptive.
Chronicles from Kashmir seeks to create a sense of “balance”: between differently positioned voices that emerge when speaking about Kashmir; between differently placed narratives on the “victim”/“perpetrator” spectrum. While there is an inevitable streak of political commentary that runs throughout the work — a political current that cannot be escaped when talking about Kashmir — Chronicles from Kashmir does not espouse any one political ideology. The playwrights see themselves as being artists and educators, using aesthetics and pedagogy to engage audiences with diverse perspectives from/about the Valley.
Chronicles from Kashmir, like any other performance, has its limitations. It can never do justice to all the narratives that compose Kashmir. It’s a step, though, a small step toward engaging audiences in stories and experiences that mainstream media might never share with them; a small step toward sparking more educated — and less polarized — opinions about what is happening in the region.
About the Authors
Nandita Dinesh teaches theater arts, literature and performance, and oversees the juvenile justice programming at the United World College in New Mexico. An alumnus from the National School of Drama in Delhi, Bhawani Bashir Yasir is the founder and artistic director of the Ensemble Kashmir Theatre Akademi in Srinagar.
Praise for Chronicles
“Chronicles from Kashmir is probably the single most creative construct of the issues of Kashmir published in recent times. Its deeply sensitive and delicate essence will resonate amongst all those who feel for Kashmiris, Karishmiriyat and Kashmir.”
— Ritu Dewan, Academic and Activist
“The play enacts vignettes from Kashmir’s conflict, experienced from the inside: how it enters Kashmiri homes, how stone pelters take to the streets, how individuals deal with trauma.”
“Theatre practitioner Nandita Dinesh’s dream project on Kashmir, a compendium of multiple voices, aims to present the reasons for the internecine conflict…Nandita has slowly worked around the conflict, working with actors who present the voices of the soldier, the militant, and the common man caught in the crossfire.”
– The Hindu
“Taking the stage to conflict zones, Nandita Dinesh wants to heal the world through drama.”
— Deccan Chronicle