Kashmiri Shawl is a site specific installation of a pashmina scarf combined with gold plated steel pins. The piece means to bring attention to the issue of Kashmir and the struggles of the Kashmiri people are suffering from due to the lack of the local and global attention to the geopolitical issues of the region.
In an interview with the Sharjah Art Foundation, Aisha Khalid described the process and story behind this Shawl:
this piece is about what’s happening in Kashmir because whenever I travel to the West I was always take for my friends, Kashmiri scarf or shawl, something like that. If I ask someone, what shall I bring for you, they always say Kashmiri shawl or something. And I also saw that it’s high fashion in west, it’s a very expensive thing; pashmina, Kashmiri wool, it’s like, you know 100% Kashmir wool … So, it’s all over the world but people don’t think about where this beauty and this luxury is coming from, and how the people are suffering. No-one is thinking about that and it’s a very bad situation in Kashmir -Occupied Kashmir, Indian Occupied Kashmir, I must say- every day they are killing people and on the media they say these are the rebels, but they are just fighting for their rights! After 1995 there’s no elections in Kashmir happened, and those were also fake elections, they did not allow everyone to participate in those elections, they are showing to media very different situation but actual situation is very different.So, I was just thinking that one side of this shawl is black with the gold, you see and you feel like it’s a beautiful embroidered fabric. When you see the other side, you can’t see from here, you see the other side is red and with the sharp edges of pins. So always it’s like making beauty and keeping it, you have to give something for that, a price for that. So they are trading these shawls but what’s happening with those people, no-one is concerned about.
This domain, centered on the performative, may both deny the atomizing modernity associated with the construction of the private, but may also provide a supportive frame to its cultivation. Here, to cultivate an aesthetic of the private suggests a politics of desire in which the relationship between zones of intimacy and socio-political arrangements need not follow a model of opposition and separation of public and private experience. Thus narrative communities, both relayed and produced afresh by the cinema may provide sanction to privatized story-telling codes such as character point of view.
This is observable in the song sequence ‘Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo’ in Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, 1957). A group of Vaishnavite singers perform the kirtan expressing Radha’s erotic longing for Krishna, authorizing the movement and look of Gulab (Waheeda Rehman), as she approaches her beloved, Vijay (Guru Dutt). The space of the scene is governed by camera movements and cuts that match the musical address and by the individualized viewpoint of the desiring woman. This scene is also an example of what I have called the enabling functions of darsana, where the icon of the beloved serves to foreground the subjectivity of the socially subordinate female character.
Sarla Thakral was first Indian woman to fly. Born in 1914, she earned an aviation pilot license in 1936 at the age of 21. After obtaining the initial license, she completed one thousand hours of flying. While she was working towards a commercial pilot license, World War II broke out and civil training was suspended. Later, her husband, the first Indian to earn an airmail pilot’s license, died in a crash. She abandoned her plans to become a commercial pilot and joined the Mayo School of Art in Lahore, where she trained in the Bengal school of painting and obtained a diploma in fine arts. (Wiki)