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

The Radical Art Review is a non-profit cooperative platform fuelled purely by people power for those who think art holds the potential for social transformation. We publish the thoughts, philosophies, and stories of all who dare to dissent. We seek to inform, to empower, and to dream collectively of a better tomorrow.

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