Photographer Shome Basu’s vibrant and thought-provoking book is a paean to the beautiful and troubled valley. Shot by Basu during his visits to Kashmir to cover various political assignments, these B&W photographs capture the essence of the place. Divided into four unfussy categories, Basu’s mastery of technique, and empathy for his subjects is quite evident. His photographs, like one in a roadside barbershop festooned with cheap Bollywood posters, or the stark, wintry landscape of Anantnag’s meadows and mountains, are evocative in different ways. Some of his shots of the political tensions in the valley are quite courageous, as he gets right into the thick of the action, risking life and limb in the process. What emerge are powerful images of protest, conflict and loss. However, he’s equally at home capturing small, subtle moments, expressions and vignettes. Kashmir is an outstanding visual document.

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