Kashmiri Protest Art Blinds Icons As Resistance

Gandhi, Van Gogh, and Mona Lisa are peering out from bloodied bandaged eyes in new art by cartoonist Mir Suhail, who aims to raise awareness of the consequences of “non-lethal” pellet guns that are causing a wave of deaths, blindings, and mutilations among Kashmiri protestors. Suhail regards his images as a “means of resistance,” a topic he recently discussed with the Hindustan Times.

Earlier this year, Facebook temporarily blocked Suhail’s work commenting on the Indian government’s 2013 execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was convicted as an accessory to a 2001 terrorist attack on the Parliament building in New Delhi. Suhail did have his access restored after the 24-hour punitive block, but admits that “I can’t rely on Facebook anymore” for sharing his work.

For Suhail, such art is an aspect of social responsibility. He tells the Hindustan Times, “Everyone has a responsibility in these times. The artist also has. Everyone is protesting in his or her own way. The artist has the visual medium, and it is very powerful. The artist tries to tell the story of this crisis to an audience as large as possible and make people aware of what’s going on.”

Read Suhail’s full remarks at the Hindustan Times.

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