Sunday, 26 May 2013

Paper Machie Art : On the Verge of Expiry

5/26/2013: Th paper machie art which made its advent before centuries in Kashmir was actually brought here by Iranians or by those Kashmiris who came here after their visit to middle east. The paper machie products are loosing their quality gradually in Kashmir, as the revered artists do not seem much interested to preserve the art. The artists who used to innovate and who had developed or flourished manufacturing centres where paper machie art was drawn are not living now nor those centres are seen  on that formal scale where they were labour intensive and quality of product was outstanding.
When we tried to find out  the reason of this issue we got an answer by a noted paper machie artist M. M. Afzal Beigh. Our Reporter Imran Banihali tried his best to find through him the actual reason of gradual decline of Paper Machie Art in Kashmir.
Some of the frequent questions are discussed below:

Imran: Those Paper Machie Centres where number of artists were working are now deserted why?
Afzal Beigh: The new generation demands hefty money in return of their work and paper machie master himself do not get handsome remuneration, so how can we they continue their work? They need sufficient money to meet their requirements but paper machie art cannot provide them these things. Even an expert papaer machie artist do not earn more than 150 rs. per day. This remuneration is not sufficient to sustain life.

Imran: How much of the original art is still preserved and how can we further preserve it?
Afzal Beigh: I don't think that we still have those precious art works preserved. Even if anyone has the piece of work is of no use, because no one of young generation is prepared to do this job at all. This art cannot be preserved much because there are only few number of artists left now who have the knowledge of actual art, and they them self are not not doing this work now because of their age. We are loosing workers and artists of new generation who could preserve this art. 

Imran: Is government encouraging artists?
Afzal Beigh: Not at all! The government has done nothing ever for the welfare of the artists. I am doing this work from my childhood (1966) since the government is only raising slogans to preserve the work (handicrafts) and government is claiming that we should encourage encourage the art work made by hands but unfortunately they are doing nothing for the welfare of artists who are surviving on a little amount of money. Even sometimes they announce to provide us with loans where we have to pay in advance, how can we pay that. Government should pay attention towards us.

 The new generation has already remained far from this work so their is no way to continue.
But why don't we think why? they have remained far from this work which their ancestors have brought ?
Let us tell you that a thirsty and hungry artist who cannot meet his requirements has to necessarily do other work to survive and meet his day to day requirements, prior to do preserve and upgrade paper machie

Inside Kashmir © 2013
Inside Story with Imran Banihali
blogger: Sharafat Hussain Beigh

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