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Kashmir, Conflict, Crossings, and Curfews: A SCoPe Event

Tuesday 8 June 2021, 5.30PM to 7:00 PM

Speaker(s): Asiya Zahoor and Iqbal Ahmed

Join us for an evening in conversation with Kashmiri poet, Asiya Zahoor, and Kashmiri travel writer, Iqbal Ahmed. Both writers touch upon themes of conflict, either political or the unstable prospects of the Covid-affected hospitality industry; crossings (whether that is travel across border crossings, or the travel to locate various selves in poetry); and curfews, imposed by pandemic lockdown measures and those that have been state-sanctioned in occupied Kashmir.

picture of Asiya Zahoor

Asiya Zahoor Asiya Zahoor is a Kashmiri poet, filmmaker, and academic, from Baramulla, in the north of Kashmir. Having studied at the universities of Kashmir, Jamia Millia, and Oxford, her scholarly work focuses on diaspora and Caribbean literature, psycholinguistics, language and migration, and cognitive processes involving language learning. Her film The Stitch (2018) which is a silent film set in Kashmir won the Critics Award for Best Film at the Second South Asian Film Festival and has been awarded and screened at prestigious festivals internationally. Her collection of poems is Serpents Under My Veil (2019)  which keeps the history of her turbulent home at the heart of her poetry while interweaving striking images from Greek mythology with Kashmiri folk tales has been critically acclaimed. Currently, Asiya is a Sanford Taylor Fellow at the University of Cornell, Ithaca, New York.

Picture of Iqbal Ahmed

Iqbal Ahmed was born in Kashmir in 1968 and has lived in London since 1994. He has been writing and travelling ever since. Iqbal writes from the standpoint of an immigrant who has travelled widely and worked in a variety of occupations in London. His curiosity and cosmopolitan outlook have been nourished by his vantage point as the concierge of a busy London hotel that is part of a worldwide chain. His fifth book of non-fiction, The Art of Hospitality: A European Odyssey, describes his excursions to four continental countries, the people he meets, and the architecture and works of art he encounters. He experiences hospitality as it is manifested in differing cultures and conditions, making comparisons to his birth town, Srinagar, where the concept of hospitality is elevated to a high moral principle. Written during the Covid-19 pandemic, he addresses pressing issues of our times such as over-tourism, climate change, Brexit, and the post-pandemic future of the hospitality industry.

Zoom joining link 

Location: Virtual via Zoom

Admission: Free, all welcome