Exhibition On Arbaeen Kicks Off At Mahattas

Photos by Syed Mohammad Burhan

Srinagar- A week long Exhibition on Arbaeen has kicked off at Mahatta Art Gallery near the city Centre. The Art, Photography and Calligraphy exhibition has attracted the attention of Art lovers who thronged the exhibition on Wednesday, the first day.

It is pertinent to mention, Arbaeen, is an Arabic word which translates to the “forty” day mourning period after Ashura (10th Muharram) when Imam Hussain (A.S) grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was martyred after having refused to pledge allegiance to the corrupt and tyrannical ruler, Yazid.

The organizer of the event, Ilyas Rizvi said the exhibition has been named Mashq-e-Arbaeen as it coincides with Arbaeen.

“It has been organized to pay tributes to the martyrs of Karbala and remember their sacrifices they made for the sake of humanity. Imam Hussain unites every race and community to work for the welfare of humanity”, Ilyas said.

Ilyas says his journey with holding exhibitions started a decade back in 2012 when he was pursuing a French language learning course at the University of Kashmir.

“Back in 2012, I along with some people decided to start a creative exhibition on Muharram. The first exhibition we hosted was in the lawns of Allama Iqbal Library in 2013.

“Since then we have been doing regular workshops and today we have almost around 15 Artists participating in the event” he said.

The Arbaeen exhibition hosts paintings, calligraphic works and a collection of archived photographs dating back decades.

“We have displayed a collection of photographs which take us back to the 1950’s and 1960’s. Photographs of Muharram processions passing through Jamia Masjid, Malkhah and Hassanabad localities of the old city are also on display”

“These pictures take us back to the old times and us a glimpse of our past”

Another feature of the event are the Art and Calligraphic works which are on display at the Mahattas. Artists have blended fine Art with Calligraphy to pay tributes to the Karbala martyrs.

Mohammad Afzal, a pass out of Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages have been doing calligraphic works since years.

He developed interest towards calligraphy through an Urdu magazine. He says he could not miss the opportunity of showcasing his work at the Mahattas.

“Earlier, I was self-taught but later I pursued a three year calligraphic course and tried to get expertise from my mentors” Afzal said.

“My calligraphic work revolves around the saying the Prophet Muhammad (PBHU) and quotes of different poets”. Through my calligraphic works, I want to present the Prophetic quotations in the best possible way”

Afzal hopes to find customers for his calligraphic works at the exhibition.

The event also hosts works of small children who have tried to depict their experiences about Ashura, Arbaeen and the Karbala massacre.

The exhibition is supported by Edraak, a movement that aims at educational revival through arts and aesthetics in Kashmir and Mahatta Studios. The exhibition will be held till 21st September, 2022.

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Syed Mohammad Burhan

Syed Mohammad Burhan has Masters in Mass Communications and works as City Reporter at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @syedmohammad313

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