US duo disguise as mermaids to film Kashmir human rights abuses
Aakash Hassan | Zafar Aafaq
On June 28, a photo appeared on social media which caught the attention of the people in Kashmir for its visual peculiarity and the caption.
The photo shows a blonde woman, reclined in a Shikara (Kashmiri boat), nearly topless in the world famous Dal Lake. Such a sight emerging from Kashmir is rare.
To add to that she is wearing a costume giving her appearance of fish like creature called a mermaid. The woman goes by the name Iara Mandyn is an underwater performer from the USA.
The shot was shared by Jamie Dewolf–on Facebook–who is a California based film director and stand-up comedian.
The visual peculiarity aside, the caption tells a surprising story. It reveals Dewolf and Mandyn visited Kashmir under the disguise of shooting for mermaid performances but the real reason was to conduct interviews with the “victims of Indian state”. The Facebook post says that during the visit, Jamie and Laura witnessed grenade attacks, city-wide strikes and killings of protestors.
They conducted the mermaid shoot on the last day of their stay. The intention of the visit of the duo seems to highlight the state violence and human rights abuses taking place in Kashmir.
At the time of filing this story, the post had over 250 shares, nearly hundreds of likes on Facebook besides being shared on other social media platforms including Instagram and Twitter. Most of the comments under the post thanked the duo for their work. The netizens are now eagerly waiting for the videos.