WEEKLY NOTES

Photo Walk on Ramadhan-2019 held by CUK

Srinagar: The Department of Convergent Journalism, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) organized two-day workshop on “Photo walk on Ramadhan-2019” at the varsity’s Nowgam Campus-I on 29th and 30th of May, 2019.

Coordinator, DCJ, Dr. John Babu Koyye said that as part of academic curriculum, the workshop was organized on photography and it will be of great opportunity to learn new techniques from the experts in the field. “This year we have chosen the significance of observing the holy month of Ramadan in Kashmir as a theme.”

Resource person and noted photographer Mukhtar Ahmad said “photography is to document every scene around you which will be part of history.” “Training yourself is not only the important thing, but using good equipment also matters,” he noted.

In continuation to the workshop, the second day started with the field visit to old city Zaina Kadal and Jamia Majid and their adjacent areas. The photo walk was curated keeping in mind various themes revolving around the holy month of Ramadhan like offering prayers, giving alms, street market, food photography and architecture. The photo walk team consisting of students and faculty was divided into four groups and led by the coordinator and the resource person trying to capture the essence of Ramadan in Srinagar.

Renowned designers’ experiment with iconic Papier Mache box

New Delhi: The art and design website www.architecturaldigest.in recently roped in nine renowned international designers to create different variants of iconic Papier Mache  Kashmiri box.

According to the website, the nine designers were asked to collaborate with Suffering Moses, the Srinagar workshop that is one of the world’s finest producers of papier mâché, to rethink the classic Kashmiri box.

From Gunjan Gupta to Ambika Hinduja Macker and more, 9 designers used papier mâché as the base material for their interpretation of the Kashmiri box.

Niels Schoenfelder, designed the box by overlaying papier mâché with craft-centred Viennese attitude to applied arts prevalent in the early 20th century.

Loulou Van Damme’s createsd added  geometric shapes to the flowers of Kashmir—a slight Japanese touch with bold colours. Gunjan Gupta’s design in the form of a Kashmiri houseboat, is directly inspired by Kashmir.

Dubai-based Ambika Hinduja Macker created Peace Box by getting inspired from natural frequency of universe. Rajesh Pratap Singh incorporated winding vines, dense leaves, profusion of flowers and clutch of wild animals merge into a busily depicted forest scene in his version of box.

Peter D’Ascoli’s design represents the last view of the Bay of Naples that his grandparents had on their journey from Italy to New York—and decades later, his own from New York to New Delhi.

Gursi Singh and Amrita Khanna’s box has abstract origins of the design by fashion label Lovebirds is in keeping with their philosophy, “of creating a visual language that is contemporary, functional and elegant”.

Pritha Sahai used Urdu calligraphy in the design of papier mache box.

Vivek Sahni used squat, fluffy monsoon clouds and the delicate intricacy of a batik pattern depicted on a miniature Jodhpur painting.

Raqib Shaw’s latest collection inspired by Kashmir

Srinagar: London based Kashmiri origin painter Raqib Shaw has unveiled his latest collection inspired from Kashmir, where he spent his childhood. The work titled Landscapes of Kashmir (2019) explores how the artist depicts the memories, real and imaginary, of his homeland.

The work has been receiving good reviews particularly part of the work titled Four Seasons (2019).

In the first painting of Four Seasons, the artist showcases a fairytale-style image of a young boy relaxing on the branch of a cherry blossom tree, while reading a book in an idyllic countryside setting.

During an interview with the New York art gallery, Pace, where the work is exhibited, Shaw said, “It’s extremely sweet, it’s extremely idealised […] everything’s lovely and everything’s fabulous”. This piece portrays life in Kashmir as idyllic.

In the next painting titled Summer, there is a reference to the character Icarus from Frederick Leighton’s painting from approximately 1869, Icarus and Daedalus. “The Icarus figure is on the edge of childhood and adulthood. He is being encouraged, however, by an entourage of musicians with blue skin and beaks for mouths,” wrote Ciara Redmond, an art reviewer.

The mood changes in Spring painting, where frightening blue creatures are hiding behind Chinar tree branches. It points to the dangers to life omnipresent in Kashmir. The final Winter painting highlights Shaw character on the top of a dead tree branch where the roots of tree are composed of grey corpses. “Upon closer examination, some of the bodies are alive and struggling to escape. Interestingly, they too resemble the artist. Perhaps Shaw wishes to convey the idea that he is attempting some sort of escape from his way of life,” writes the reviewer.

Shaw explains in the interview, “You can enjoy the Spring painting and the sweetness and the Walt Disney nature of the Spring painting because I’m sure that we all feel that we live in that Walt Disney world”. He then gestures towards the rest of the collection in Four Seasons and explains: “Then we go through these phases [Summer, Autumn] and we end up here [Winter].”

It is in this painting that the tone of the series shifts so dramatically from ominous to overt horror.

“Likewise, the depiction of Kashmiri landscapes also experiences a shift. Gone are the vivid greens, oranges, yellows and pinks from previous pieces in the series. They have been replaced by darkness. The landscapes no longer look radiant and flourishing, instead appear desolate and comfortless,” writes Redmond.

‘Shan-e-Ramadhan’ festival at KU

Srinagar: A three day ‘Shan-e-Ramdhan’ festival started here at Kashmir University (KU) on Tuesday. The festival includes competitions in Husn-e-Naat, Husn-e-Qirat, Husn-e-Azaan and Islamic Calligraphy.

Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Neelofar Khan on the occasion said that DSW has been organizing this event every year in the same month and it has benefited students in showcasing their skills in Quran recitation, Islamic calligraphy and many other areas of religion.

“DSW has always given a face-lift to the university and has played an important role in engaging students in many cultural, social and intellectual activities”, Prof Khan said.

Registrar, Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir on the occasion spoke about the importance of holding such festivals. He assured university’s full support to such endeavours. He appreciated the students participating in the event. “There are small tokens that we give on behalf of the university to the winners of various competitions in the programs held in the fest but the nature of this event is such that mere participation is spiritually rewarding,” he said.

The students of various colleges and universities of the valley are taking part in the fest.

Dean Students Welfare, Prof Raies Ahmad Qadri on the occasion and said that such events are necessary to elevate one spiritually. He spoke about the medical benefits of fasting as proved by medical science.

On the inaugural day of the festival competitions in Husn-e-Azaan were held and the performance of the participants was evaluated by a three member jury.

The event is being organized by the Department of Students Welfare (DSW), and is supported by LAYOUTS and Radio Mirchi.

Calligrapher pens down prayer booklet

Srinagar: Wali Muhammad Khan, a calligrapher from south Kashmir, has penned  a booklet of prayers, Awradul Momin, which was released this week at a literary function.

The booklet was released by writers, artists and officials of JK Cultural Academy and civil society members here today.

Khan lives in Nai Basti area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir and is a renowned calligrapher, who has presented his work at many places outside the state.

People while praising Khan for the achievement said that the release of book is even more significant as it has come in the holy month of Ramadan, inspiring people to connect with the virtues of Allah and walk on the path of peace. “People like Wali are role models for traditional art forms of Kashmir and are still alive and will cherish in the minds of Kashmiris forever,” they said.

Annual calendar, panchayat cultural clubs to promote cultural heritage

SRINAGAR: To give boost to the activities aimed at promoting rich cultural heritage of Kashmir, the government is mulling on creation of cultural clubs at panchayat level, devising annual cultural activity calendar, organising talent hunt programmes besides other activities.

Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai called for creation of cultural clubs at Panchayat level to give boost to the cultural activities across the State during a high-level meeting here on Tuesday. Ganai stressed the need for organising various cultural events at panchayat level to provide a platform to the youth to showcase their talent in cultural activities. He said State administration is keen to promote the State’s rich cultural heritage for the future generations to keep them connected with their roots and culture. He stressed the need for devising an annual calendar of such activities to engage the youth for the promotion of cultural heritage of the State.

The Advisor said that the State has a rich culture and its diversity can play a vital role in bringing to fore the talent of people in various fields. He asked that the talent hunt programmes should be conducted right from the Panchayat level throughout the state so that the process becomes all inclusive and percolates to the ground level.

It was decided that schools and colleges would be the focal point for carrying out these talent hunt programs. The Department of Culture would be the overall nodal agency for the programme. It would be done in collaboration with Departments of Education and Rural Development and Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, the meeting was informed.