Photography Cinema

Sumit Dayal: Wish you live long

Image Maker
Sumit Dayal
Sumit DAYAL (b.1981) grew up in Kathmandu where his family continues to reside after they moved from Kashmir in the late seventies. He studied photography at Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi in 2004, interned at American photographer Thomas Kelly’s studio in Kathmandu, and went on to pursue the Documentary & Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography in New York. As a freelance photographer, Dayal has covered the conflict in Afghanistan, Bhutan’s first election, the impact of rising oceans in Bangladesh, and a wide range of stories in India and Nepal. Over the past six years, he has been working on a long form personal narrative about his motherland, Kashmir. Witness / Kashmir 1986-2016 / Nine Photographers, a collaborative book comprising nine Kashmiri photographers, was released in 2017 and was selected by The New York Times Magazine for their top ten photo books of the year.
Place of Origin


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

The words of T.S. Eliot describe, quite eloquently, the feelings I have experienced since returning home to Kashmir after a seventeen-year gap. Winding alleys with latticed houses, alpine meadows with grazing horses, gondolas floating to the sound of Azans — it is these memories of a fairy tale childhood that lured me back to Kashmir in 2009. It’s thorny to ignore the relics of Kashmir’s futile past and even though ghosts of political history stare back at me during Friday protests, funeral marches, and the occasional insurgency, I try to fade these out and focus my attention on subtle aspects like the unfolding scenes of daily life, the static-ness of objects, and the changing seasons and moments that precipitate childhood memories. In doing so, for largely personal reasons, I am attempting to understand ‘Kashmir-i-yat’, the essence of being a Kashmiri.

The focus and approach in Wish you live long have evolved over time, eventually branching out into three broad themes: returning home, anonymous portraits collected from the Line of Control, and the family album.

When are you visiting?
Happenings for you
We didn't find any results for the search