The Blinding Absence of Hope: Omair Bhat

by Niall Walker

Omair Bhat is a poet from the Lolab Valley in India-occupied Kashmir.


He describes his home as a 'military garrison', 'a replica of panopticon', and his poetry speaks of the emotional and psychological distress which life under siege entails. Bhat began writing poems 'as a curiosity to write a verse if one were in love', but soon found 'poetry could become an expression for a protest against, say, the daily humiliation when the Indian trooper asks you stand in a long queue to prove your identity to him'.


The background images are provided by the artists of Her Pixel Story a female photography collective based around Dal Lake in Kashmir. For our artist feature on the group, click here. For our full-length feature on artists in Indian-occupied Kashmir, click here.

Niall Walker is the founder of the Radical Art Review