Inside Kashmir’s ‘Invisible’ Transgender Community

Country/area: India

Organisation: Business Insider

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 16 Oct 2020

Credit: Bhat, Burhan Saqib, Mugloo Robert, Leslie

Project description:

Kashmir is one of the hardest places in the world in which to be transgender. Not only does the community face discrimination but heavy restrictions imposed by the Indian military and now by the coronavirus pandemic are making life especially difficult. 

Impact reached:

The video piece was largely produced and filmed for the United States audience so that the unheard voices of the transgender community from Kashmir can be told to the outer world.

The project had a great impact after it was released this year – many activists started talking on the trans issues and supported them in many ways which gave hope to the community despite they face discrimination and threats from the conservative society of Kashmir. 

Techniques/technologies used:

We used multimedia tools – like camera, recorders and got data from a solitary transgender activist who has been working on these issues for past many years. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

This project was really hard to produce and film on the ground as Kashmir has been surrounded by the conflict for decades and with the coronavirus lockdowns it became very hard for us to film and interview the transgender members. 


Apart from that, while filming we were stopped multiple times by the Indian military forces who keep harassing journalists and filmmakers in Kashmir as they want to suppress the voices coming out from Kashmir. Kashmir was last year put under a strict lockdown and all the means of communication were snapped. While filing the footage to our producers in London, it took us 3 days as we had no means to high speed internet and got a wired connection at a friend’s house from where I filed the footage. 

What can others learn from this project?

In the world, the transgender community have been neglected for years and journalists hardly report issues faced by the community. This project can inspire other young journalists to report about the issues faced by the community who often are discriminated or face harassment from their families and other members of the society.

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