In August 2016, after a 16-year hunger strike protesting the removal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), civil rights activist and poet, Irom Sharmila broke her fast. Her drive for change began in 2000, in response to the slaughter of ten people at a bus stand by the armed forces in a village called Malom. This incident came to be known as Malom Massacre.

AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers)Act), as it has been enforced in Manipur – often described as a ‘disturbed state’ – allows the military to execute anyone on the mere suspicion of terrorism. It has been alleged that there are well over 1528 cases of Extra-Judicial killings carried out by the Armed Forces between 1979 and 2012.

With this project, my aim was to understand the nature and scale of these fictitious clashes that are called ‘fake encounters’, keeping the landscape as a witness.

By volunteering for the EEVFAM (Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families of Manipur) – an organization formed by the widows of victims – I gained insight and gathered evidence about the situation at hand. By going through victims’ testimonies as well as witness accounts, I was able to shape my current perspective – a photo book of my personal experiences in Manipur.

About the artist

Rohit Saha (born 1990, India) is a visual artist from Calcutta. His practice involves photography, illustration, and animation to narrate stories. He has been working with communities, landscapes, and socio-political phenomena in various parts of India. On completing a Bachelors in Multimedia with a specialisation in Animation from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta and he did his Masters in Photography from the National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar. Saha’s graduation project about extra-judicial killings in Manipur titled “1528” won the Alkazi Photobook Award in 2017. This project was later published in the year 2019 as his first photobook. Saha was awarded the Magnum Foundation Social Justice Fellowship in 2018. He was also a part of the Joop Swart Masterclass 2020.Saha is currently based in Mumbai, India.

This is a standard alert.

I'm a cool paragraph that lives inside of an even cooler modal. Wins!

This is a standard alert.

I'm a cool paragraph that lives inside of an even cooler modal. Wins!

Sensitive Content

Viewer discretion advised, not suitable for unsupervised young viewers

The button should just Continue