Himalayan Youth Resist through Art: Debunking “Development” in Kinnaur

A Photo Essay

  • Pramiti Negi (Author)
  • Hanna Werner (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


This photo essay outlines our reflections on the role of art as a means of protest and, in particular, as an expression of the identity struggle that drives resistance. “Artivism” as a form of protest seems to be (re)gaining traction, especially in youth mobilizations worldwide. Our case study is from the Kinnaur district in the western Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. Launched as a mobilization against the negative impacts of hydropower projects in the region, the No Means No campaign is likely on its way to becoming a broader socioecological movement that confronts the adversities of state-led development policies and mobilizes cultural identity in creative ways. Art in various forms, from paintings and rock graffiti to poems and songs, plays a significant role. Against the backdrop of current debates on environmentalism, identity politics, and political aesthetics, the primary aim of this essay is to situate the selected artifacts in relation to the campaign and give their creators a voice—or an image.


art, resistance, space, identity, Kinnaur, India
How to Cite
Negi, Pramiti, and Hanna Werner. 2023. “Himalayan Youth Resist through Art: Debunking ‘Development’ in Kinnaur: A Photo Essay”. Dastavezi | the Audio-Visual South Asia 5 (1). https://doi.org/10.11588/dasta.2023.1.24023.