Cartoon Guide to the Festivals of India Occupied Kashmir

Arif Ayaz Parrey on Mir Suhail’s oeuvre

Mir Suhail Qadri’s ever improving oeuvre has been one of the rare happy things happening in, and to, Kashmir in these particularly dark times. When he started off a few years ago, both the themes and the strokes were a little tentative. Kashmir’s cartoonist cartography has been dominated by the stark and minimalist art of Bashir Ahmed Bashir (BAB), the humour in whose drawings is instantly local, preoccupied with the development of shorthand for Koshur semantemes. The prodigious Malik Sajad rose to prominence around the time Suhail’s first drawings started to appear in public. Sajad’s forte is a mastery over the shape of things, particularly geometrical objects, and the interplay of light and shadow. His flavour is distinctly outward looking and, like much of the Kashmiri writing in English, in conversation with an external audience.
Suhail had to draw a new course for himself, even if subconsciously. Along with his namesake Suhail Naqshbandi, his labour has been a study in evolution. While Naqshbandi’s drawings keep seeking the grand metaphor, Suhail Qadri’s attempt to make the ordinary extraordinary. A cursory look at his work reveals how his drawings have become more full-bodied, the curves more definitive and the lines more imperial over the years. This is amply mirrored in his themes. What makes his work even more beautiful is the fact that it is a product of banter among friends and one can notice several people speaking through any series of cartoons. He is a people’s cartoonist. 

Kashmir on Indian Republic day eve
Kashmir on Indian Republic day eve
Security checking for 26 Jan - Indian Republic Day
Security checking for 26 Jan – Indian Republic Day
January 26 Indian Republic day
January 26 Indian Republic day

Literary Festival

April 22 - Earth Day
April 22 – Earth Day
May 10 - Mother's Day
May 10 – Mother’s Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
Preparing for Indian Independence Day
15 August - Indian Independence Day
15 August – Indian Independence Day
Before Ramadan
Before Ramadan
Sighting the Moon
Sighting the Moon

Ramadan Eid Shopping

Eid moon
Eid moon

Diwali

10 December Just Another Caged Day
10 December Just Another Caged Day

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Mir Suhail Written by:

Mir Suhail, 25, is a young artist based in Kashmir, most widely known for his dark political cartoons. His work speaks to the experience of growing up and calling a place of military occupation one's home with themes ranging from human rights violations to cultural imperialism. With 10 years of experience and an array of national and international awards under his belt, he is also working to capture the many artistic possibilities offered by the textile tradition of Kashmir in his role as the Creative Director of cultural enterprise Crafted in Kashmir. He has pioneered the use of war motifs on handcrafted scarves speaking to the continuing battle over geography-an enduring legacy of the post-colonial state.

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