KASHMIR ART QUEST


Kashmir Art Quest has been working towards the advancements of arts, artists, art education and community development in conflict-hit Kashmir ever since its foundation in August 2009. It is one of our foremost goals to create a situation in Kashmir where an international art scene might exist. We celebrate a culture of innovation and creativity and strive to foster creative and cultural entrepreneurship in the region. We realize the critical significance of creative expression and free speech for the social and cultural evolution of human civilizations and therefore ensure that each of our projects is an open space for free artistic expression and acts as catalysts for dialogues across all sections of the society.

We are still the only independent arts organisation working actively in Kashmir.


 

Milestones achieved so far:

 

·         Established Jammu and Kashmir's first and largest annual contemporary art show. We have shown hundreds of works by over 200 senior and emerging artists of the region since the debut show in 2010.

·         Established annual International art exchange programs and relevant shows.

·         Establishment of a small artist’s grant.

·         Kashmir Archives Project.  (in progress).

·         Film screening events and 1st Kashmir International Film Festival in collaboration with Loudbeetle.in.

·         Collaboration with several local and international organisations, businesses, corporate, and so on.

·         Supported the establishment of other art-groups and promotion of several other social-organisations.

·         Online art shows and initiatives have reached thousands of people in over 120 countries across 6 continents.

·         Seminars, workshops, talks and other educational projects.

·         Other international and local projects of diverse nature – and still growing.

 

 

HISTORY:

In summer of 2009, two friends, studying at that time in Mumbai, came together to organize an art exhibition in Srinagar, Kashmir. The scale of the exhibition became ambitious during the planning phase. Some said overambitious - especially considering the situation in Kashmir - the conflict, the social issues, the absence of stability, lack of infrastructure, and zero funds. By early 2010, they were joined by 2 more friends. With a cocktail of innovation, passion for change and love for the arts, topped by determination and patience, the group launched its debut show, Quest for the finest Artists of Kashmir, in June 2010.

The 2-day art exhibition showed over 200 works by 40 emerging and 9 senior artists. The event became the largest art show in the history of J&K. By the end of the second day thousands of people had visited the event. The next day, fresh violence erupted in Kashmir – what is now unofficially called the 2010 Kashmir unrest. 112 people died that year. Kashmir is still one of the most militarized zones in the world.

The state of arts in a society strongly influences its social, cultural and intellectual evolution. We believe in the power of art to allow exchange of dialogue and therefore create a space to promote peace and harmony. With this belief Kashmir Art Quest continues to work as an independent artist-led organisation. We have worked with over 500 artists worldwide and executed some of the most extraordinary projects locally and internationally creating endless opportunities for the artists. Our network of artists, coordinators and volunteers continues to grow globally.

 

Kashmir Art Quest was formally established as a trust in 2011, with Syed Mujtaba Rizvi as the Founder and Managing Director.

 

 

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