TORONTO – Kashmiris living in the Greater Toronto showcased their artwork on Sept 21. Their work was displayed at Yonge and Dundas in Toronto from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. Called ‘Kashmiri Resistance Art,’ this exhibit displays Kashmiri peoples’ responses to the siege by the Indian government. It is a response to colonial aggressions, military occupation and widespread atrocities against the Indigenous people of the valley.
At the time, it was 48 days, or 7 weeks as of Sept 21 since India imposed a communications blockade [no internet or phones] and unilaterally ended its constitutional relationship with Kashmir, while simultaneously imposing direct colonial authority. Since then, International rights monitoring bodies have criticized India for collectively punishing millions of innocent Indigenous Kashmiris. Kashmiris in Kashmir have been silenced, they are unable to communicate with each other or the rest of the world. The free press has been threatened, attacked, and repressed from reporting what is happening there. Meanwhile, Kashmiris economy has collapsed due to the lockdown and restrictions, and the healthcare crisis is worsening each day.
This Exhibit is a place where some Kashmiri Canadians are choosing to tell their stories. “Art voice allows our community members to share what’s on their mind, be heard, during a moment of an unprecedented crisis. This is their way of communicating how they’re grappling with not having access to their loved ones under a lock-down and blanket blockade for 7 weeks…” said Binish Ahmed, a Kashmiri artist, academic and Director of Kashmir Gulposh.
Over 15 Kashmiri artists of all ages have registered to exhibit their work. Their works speak to the impact of 70+ years of militarized occupation and colonization, attempted land grab, demographic change, and genocidal violence. They are looking forward to displaying their work. We invite the Toronto community at-large to come spend time with us.