Seven Days Seven Voices - The Valley of Shadows, Camillo Pasquarelli

This project by Camillo Pasquarelli allows for an honest and comprehensive insight into an issue that hasn’t received the attention and support which it deserves. The project documents those caught in the crossfire in Kashmir Valley. ‘In 2010, the Indian government provided security forces with a new weapon: shotgun shells filled with hundreds of small lead pellets. Defined as “non-lethal,” the pellet guns are used to keep urban protests under control.’ These weapons have now left many blinded by the hundreds of lead pellets they fire. The project is in many ways difficult to view as so many innocent people have been blinded as a result of senseless violence, but this project is one which needs to be seen.

The black and white photographs throughout the project parallel the dark stories that these people have lived and the loss of colour and vibrancy in their lives. The shadows created through monochrome photography stand as a metaphor for what those who still have some sight are able to see. ‘The most striking features of the monochrome medium are grounded in its ability to emote through contrast. Subjects are pared down to their most essential qualities, so that settings and stories are represented through light and shadow.’

The photography is an example of portraiture and great technical ability but also more so the importance of passion, commitment and storytelling in photography. The haunting images can be hard to view but often it’s only through this pain that we, together, can rebuild an empathy which can evoke positive change.

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