Aarief Hussain Travel Photography Bhutan, Kashmir, Asia Workshops | I am Kashmir- Artisans at Work,Aarief Hussain, Bhutan + Kashmir ,Asia Photo Workshops

I am Kashmir- Artisans at Work !

On an ordinary day, while walking through a shopping mall in Singapore; I passed by a store that sells handicrafts from Kashmir. What a nostalgic feeling! That beautiful stuff lying there reminded my home and people back in the land we call 'Heaven on Earth'. 

I bent forward to look closely as if that wonderful carpet would transport me to Kashmir in a flash. With the blink of an eye I was thrusted backwards.  It was only that my eyes scanned the price tag and this very sight gave me goose bumps. I left the store and moved on. Later at night incident flashed back, leaving a thought provoking impression on my heart and I decided to visually document the life of these artisans on my upcoming photo expedition. 

On arriving Kashmir, I took up my camera and went on to meet these hard and devoted workers. However finding them was never easy, as most of them left practicing their skills and moved out in order to find a better living. With a few days of constant research I traced these artisans who were still practicing but  living a very low profile life under miserable circumstances without knowing the worth of their handicrafts in the international market. Seeing their skilled craftsmanship in variety of different works and then comparing them with their poor working conditions saddened my heart. From an underpaid artisan to a failed musician. These people have been badly exploited by middle men ultimately discouraging the craftsman and he is forced to think low of his profession and gradually quit practicing the skill that had passed onto him from generations.