Made by MENDOAbout the books
Who will recognize a great book better than a bookstore? A bookstore run by graphic designers. Here’s why: at MENDO we get market feedback seven days a week, we are blessed to be surrounded by a bunch of talented, inspiring people – photographers, writers and publishers – and after being a bookstore for more than 15 years, we can easily say we know what book aficionados are looking for. Don’t you agree that initiating, creating and realizing jaw-dropping books now, only comes natural?
A MENDO publication is a well-designed book with visually stunning creative content, browsed by people to be amazed and inspired. The subject-matter is one of our pre-defined curated categories, fashion, photography, interior, sport, lifestyle, food and traveling. In general, a MENDO book is a piece of furniture in itself.
The state of Kashmir holds a mythic place in the mind of India. Long known as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain valleys, since the late 1980s it has become synonymous with a political and sectarian conflict which strikes at the very heart of India’s identity. Delhi-based Sikka travelled throughout Kashmir in 2014 and 2015, to attempt to make some sense of this troubled region through his own personal experience. Taking inspiration from Mirza Waheed’s novel The Collaborator, which tells the story of a young Kashmiri man’s struggle with his own sense of self buffeted by the exigencies of history and the present, the resulting project is a meditation on the rich, green landscape and those who have lived and struggled within it.
The central core of Where the flowers still grow is comprised of portraits of young men, shot alone within the colossal grandeur of an unspoiled landscape that seems to know nothing of national borders and political rivalries. The men stare at Sikka’s camera, which stares back at them, as if their silent images hold within them millions of words needed to explain everything. Having fused portraits of Kashmiri men with their landscapes, Sikka set out to record the more personal details of his visits, photographing objects found in homes but also animals, abandoned buildings, and elements of nature. These details provide a mise-en-scene for Sikka’s project, articulating a more nuanced interpretation of the region and its inhabitants, as well as highlighting the endless contrasts between the bucolic, indifferent natural world and human and individual lives and dreams. What we are ultimately left with is Sikka’s emotional response to his visits to Kashmir, the residual evidence of traumatic events, and the mute witnesses to the convulsions of history.