It all started with a simple promise! Two friends, Mehvish and Mahroosh had met after two long years by the banks of serene Dal Lake, sitting amidst the rippling sounds of boats in the water and the panorama of mountains that surrounded them. They were pondering over the fact that how captivating the beauty of Kashmir feels each time one sees it.
On that day their conversation was all about the beautiful things Kashmir embodies and the grim reality that prevails in its soil. Their love for the age old Kashmiri art which has mesmerized art lovers through centuries, and consequently the concern for its decline made them realize that their love, passion and youth has the potential to revive it.
Their life and travel outside the valley for four years had brought in personal perspectives. Their journey as women, they felt, had to be defined and what better way than their inspirations and art coming together?
Little did they know about the herculean challenges that stood their way. Their research brought to light heart-breaking stories of artisans. Social stereotyping and negligence from the state have made the artisans give up on their craft. Innovating Kashmiri art is the last thing they will think of when the day-and-night struggle is to make their ends meet.
In this process, they came across women like Ms Maqsooda, a very fine artist who knows the nuances and the symmetry of Paper Mache like no other, recipient of the State Award, but now in a state of negligence. She welcomed them into the world of women artisans where they saw the struggles multiplying manifold, the restriction in their movement due to social, religious and cultural markers. The two girls were determined to bring as many women artisans on board, and to make their production run entirely by women.
O.g.r.s.m. stands for freedom, boldness and liberation; to symbolically speak out to the power dynamics around, and stand for the idea that we have every right to explore, express and claim what is rightfully ours. It stands for the desire to live your life fully and meaningfully.
Everything under its name, big or small, will bleed of craftsmanship, the time, effort and Heart of an Artisan that goes in its making. Every stroke and stitch will speak of history meeting at a cross point with modernity, and beyond everything, the financial freedom that women artisans deserve.