Sheela Gowda

The subject of Sheela Gowda’s Loss is Kashmir, a region bordered by India, Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan. Historically a locus of exchange and syncretism, where Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam flourished in the wake of South Asia’s partition, it is now fraught with violence and uncertainty as border disputes and armed encounters persist. Originally photographed by Kashmir resident Abdul Gani Lone, these six scenes show the path taken to a burial site by the bodies of youths from his village killed in the continuing conflict. Tentatively painted over with watercolour in a subtle accentuation of their subjects’ plight, these prints express the tragic irony of deadly geopolitical struggle unfolding in a place described since the Mughal period as “heaven on earth.”