‘It creatively signifies that the world has turned blind towards the Kashmir issue and we are left with no other option but to communicate our anguish in their language,’ the campaigners say.
Srinagar: Kashmir-based human rights advocacy group Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) in creative collaboration with BlackSheep.Works, a recently-established Srinagar-based communications agency, has launched the #KashmirBlindSpot campaign to highlight the “indiscriminate use of pellet shotguns on unarmed civilians” by the security forces in Kashmir.
The campaign website mentions that the indiscriminate use of pellet shotguns has resulted in an estimated 105 civilians being partially or totally blinded. “These gauge, pump-action shotguns first put to use during the 2010 uprising are maiming and blinding unarmed civilians, which include kids as young as a 5-year-old and the elderly as old as eighty,” the site says.
The indigenous, composite communication campaign using creatively-crafted posters is supported with a specially designed microsite, which explains in detail the current crisis in Kashmir and gives comprehensive information about the scourge of pellet shotguns currently being used against protesters in the state.
“The Braille idea was apt for highlighting Kashmir’s Blind Spot status. It creatively signifies that the world has turned blind towards the Kashmir issue and we are left with no other option but to communicate our anguish in their language,” says Parvez Imroz, chairman of JKCCS.
Exhorting the world community to take action by writing to the commissioner of the Human Rights Council, Imroz says the campaign also highlights the fact that hundreds of protesters have been blinded by the illegally used pellet shotguns.
“We didn’t want to exploit and appropriate the pain and sufferings by showing blood and gore, but instead send out a strong message to the world community through this campaign to take notice of the Kashmir issue that has been ignored for long,” says BlackSheep.Works’ founder and chief creative officer, Asif Amin Tibet Baqual.
He says they came up with the idea for this campaign after a couple of intense brainstorming sessions. Presenting the plight of pellet victims in perspective, he says the campaign’s microsite is a unique space where people can always come back to for more information as the site will be regularly updated.
“Being the oldest dispute on the UN’s roster of international conflicts, Kashmir has turned into a blind-spot for the world over the years,” says Asif. “So we had to develop a special way to communicate to the people who refuse to see. Braille – the language of the blind – came in handy. “We created special typography for the strong messages to be conveyed to the world that has turned a blind eye to Kashmir dispute till now,” he adds.
“I like the typographic solution in the ad, because I have to strain my eyes to read, which makes me sympathise with the victims even more,” says Ivan Raszl, founder of AotW, which hosts ads from across the world.
With over 576,463 Twitter impressions and over 7640 campaign poster downloads from the microsite until now, the campaign has generated a good response on social media where it has been shared widely since its launch on August 3.