Campus Artists Brush Up Srinagar’s Iconic Street For Recreation

Students during the street art in Srinagar. KO Photos by Abid Bhat.

A live street-art act caught everyone’s attention in Srinagar when a bunch of boys and girls arrived to create a public-relaxation space out of a parking lot in Poloview.

By Al-Misda Masoom, Tabia Masoodi

FAHAD Wani had been resisting his creative cravings since summer 2019 when he got confined to his home. The subsequent three-lockdown years hardly gave him any chance before he got a call for a public place-making event that turned heads and evoked curiosity in Srinagar on October 1.

Wani and Co. turned up in the wee hours and started whitewashing the road nearby Sher-e-Kashmir Park in Srinagar.

As the day progressed, the colorful designs with Shikara drew everyone’s attention.

“We artists got a chance to express ourselves after a long time,” said Fahad, an architecture student. “Before 2019, we used to attend many such events. It’s quite refreshing to work again.”

Under the blistering autumn sun, these campus artists who lately came out of home confines appeared quite peppy while being the part of the city makeover project.

They turned junk into art-pieces depicting the cultural essence of the valley.

The stretch selected for the street art would be usually crowded with haphazard parking before they made it an art corner.

This public place-making event was taken under the Srinagar Smart City Development Plan in collaboration with the School of Architecture (SOA), Ganderbal and IUST Awantipora’s Architectural Department.

Under this event, three areas—Poloview, Jehangir Chowk and Regal Chowk—will be converted into public spaces for relaxation along with a kids zone.

While addressing the curiosity of passersby with patience, the artists appear in a buoyed mood.

“It’s good working out here,” said Saira Izhar Wani, a six-semester architecture student.

“Many people came to talk. They wanted to know about the event which made it very interactive.”

Some of these passersby made multiple rounds of the art corner to understand the motive behind it.

“I was curious to know what’s happening here,” said Tasif Khan, a Srinagar resident.

“I talked to these young artists and understood the motive behind it. I think it’s a great step and will inspire others.”

 By the day ending, Fahad Wani was looking forward to two more places for showcasing his skills.

“We all need these events for mental recuperation,” Fahad said.

“People want to get out of this confined situation which has been pestering us since August 2019. And art is a great way to do that, whether you’re a spectator or a creator.”

  • Al-Misda Masoom, Tabia Masoodi are print interns with Kashmir Observer.

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