Mapping Kashmir Territories




Map of Kashmir.
Kashmir. Map by Yemberzal (2022).


Through these political mappings of the Territories of Kashmir, I aim to present a narrative that visualizes the density of the occupation. I use the word “Territories” (distinct from the statist reduction of a nation into a territory), because the successive violent fragmentations of Kashmir over the past seven decades have created multiple political enclaves. These enclaves vary in sovereignty and are plurally claimed by the three surrounding nuclear powers, namely India, Pakistan, and China. Since it has never been the people of Kashmir who got to draw the lines defining their homeland, I choose to keep them dashed—hence, questionable. Deterritorialization through occupation has been an ongoing process since 1949, involving making and unmaking of space to re-engineer and be more suited to the seamless movement across occupation’s infrastructures coded into “defense” or “security.”

A map of Kashmir showing army camps with red dots.
The Valley. Map by Yemberzal (2022).


The border between India and Pakistan is called the “Line of Control,” which is essentially the front and buffer of Indian Occupied and Azad Kashmir (part of Pakistan Administered Kashmir). This line features “hilltropes,” i.e., small-scale camps on mountain tops and ridges that utilize the advantage of height in order to enhance the occupation’s political control. In contrast, in the urban centers of the valley, occupation is spatially articulated through critical infrastructure, especially roadways, ranging from huge cantonments to smaller district battalion camps. These typologies are heavily walled-off zones, varying in size, density, function, morphology, intensity, authority, and activation—all concealed under the myth of normalcy. Such a huge presence of military within the civilian realm affects Kashmir’s landscape, urban growth, natural resources, and most importantly, its people. ■