October 26, 2016 1:50 am

In Kashmir, artists depict tragedy on canvas

SRINAGAR: While Kashmir is undergoing over three month long unrest, noted artists including painters, sculptures, musicians, story writers, poets today shared a platform to express their works, depicting the tragedy on the canvas.

Renowned painter and former faculty, Music and Fine Arts College, Masood Hussain shared his works, saying that “great art is born in difficult times.” He said from last over twenty five years, he has been unable to paint any smiling face in Kashmir.

“Some years back by Tourism Department approached me and I got an assignment of painting smiling faces for their annual wall calendar. However after sometime I had to turn down the assignment because I couldn’t find myself in a mood to paint one,” he said.

Hussain also presented his works in order to complement the reflective mood of the Kashmir valley. Masood, whose luminous mixed media works and watercolors have been acclaimed internationally, believes that in Kashmir, everyone has a heart wrenching stories to share.

The one-day workshop was organized by Srinagar based policy group, Ehsaas.

Noted poet and former director, Radio Kashmir, Srinagar, Ruksana Jabeen said that artists and poets can never keep their eyes closed while deaths are occurring on the streets and into their backyards. She also recited her recent poetry verses on the current Kashmir unrest. She also said that such platforms for the artists were needed in current situation.

Another artist and entrepreneur, Mujtaba Rizvi stressed about the significance of arts in influencing the social, cultural and economic evolution of human societies. “All my research, education, and understanding suggest that no tourism related, or industrial or agricultural economy in Kashmir will thrive unless and until we boost creative economies and allow cultural entrepreneurship to thrive,” he said. One shouldn’t have a conventional understating of the artists, who live in their own world. World has evolved to a greater,” he said.

Educationist, Neerja Mattoo while speaking on occasion said that such forums are really wonderful and prove helpful for the participating artists.

“You feel free from all he stresses while you participate in such programmes. This is free from curfew free from hartal and from the curbs too,” she said. “We should have such spaces everywhere. I feel glad to be part of this programme where Kashmiri Muslims are sensitive to share the pain of their fellow Kashmiri pandits,’ she said. She also narrated how her grandson had to undergo lot of ordeal when he had come to the valley with a saxophone. “He was forced play at the airport when the security men suspected him carrying a gun and not a music instrument,” she recalled.

Another artist and a journalism teacher, Isra Amin Bhat while narrating her story said that in Kashmir, people have learned the art to express them and not keep them relevant into the current situation.  Architect Taha Mugal said that pain is a vicious motivator.

“I personally believe great art is never done, great photographs are never taken, and great music is never composed. It is only the situation where the great art is documented,” he said. “We saw art becoming gunpowder; we saw photographs coming up mocking some celebrities with the pellets in the current situation,” he said. As many as over 30 artists from various parts of the Kashmir valley participated in the workshop.

Secretary, Ehsaas, Ezabir Ali, said this workshop was organized with a motive to provide a platform where all artists from the region could participate together and share their works on varied themes.

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