Art Under Siege in Balochistan: Islamic Extremists a Threat to Culture


Hassan Yadgarzadeh

It’s a pity in today’s world of modern art we live in a society where people hold no regards or values for an artist like Hassan

By Omran Doushouki

It has been a couple of years now that I have been following one of the most talented and gifted artists of the Baloch nation on the social media. Whose works I have admired since the day I came to know of him. Every new or latest work of his contained an excellent factor within itself. I have always been curious to know what will his next artistic work be, and was intriguingly waiting for it.

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As every single work of his portrayed the Baloch culture, lifestyle and its simplicity. He was exhibiting and promoting the Baloch nation’s way of life in a creative and artistic manner. Unfortunately, he had to abandon his artistic career forever due to the constant life-threats he received from religious fanatics. Never in my wildest imaginations have I ever thought that one day his artistic career would end in such an early stage of development, at least not in such a manner.

The artist I am referring to is Hassan Yadgarzadeh, a 38 years old sculptor who has attracted the attention of a lot of people in recent years, especially after installing three of his famous Balochi sculptures in different parts of Chahbahar city. One of his most famous sculptures is ‘The Mother’ which is a statue of a Baloch mother in traditional attire with a child in her lap, installed on the Mother Square in Chahbahar. His other works include ‘The Fisher Man’, installed in Kargar Street and a statue of a well-known Baloch traditional singer/musician, Kamalan Hoth.

Hassan Yadgarzedeh with Ustad Hadi Ziyaodini

Hassan Yadgarzedeh with Ustad Hadi Ziyaodini

Hassan Yadgarzadeh started his career as a painter in 1991 and had his first painting exhibition in Chahbahar when he was only 14. His artistic shift into carving statues originated eight years ago when he met a well-known Kurdish sculptor, Hadi Ziaoddini and spent some time with him in Kurdistan to learn the art. In 2008 he was invited by Uppsala University in Sweden to exhibit his paintings in a number of Scandinavian cities including Oslo, Stockholm, Boras and Astorp, where he was received with outmost respect and his collection of art work was much admired.

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‘The Mother’ by Hassan Yadgarzadeh

It’s a pity in today’s world of modern art; we live in a society where people hold no regard or value for an artist like Hassan. It has been quite some time that Hassan has been under constant harassment by religious fanatics who believe that Art is evil and prohibited by God.

The situation with Hassan aggravated to the extent that these religious elements started abusing and threatening him randomly in public places and once even in a taxi. Taking into account the past record of such fanatic elements and sheer amount of pressure from family members, Hassan decided to take these threats seriously and has officially announced on all his social media accounts the end to his artistic career.

Hassan Yadgarzadeh

Today they targeted Hassan Yadgarzadeh, tomorrow could be the newly emerging young film-makers, musicians and singers. Until they eradicate all the talented individuals amongst our society who possess the ability to represent the Baloch nation in an artistic manner, and have the capacity to be the role models of a tolerant society and bring positive changes in the nation. It is high time for the conscientious and educated people to step forward and prevent such anti-progress elements to stop the march of history and the creative minds of our society. We should act now before it is late to realize when we witness our next generation being thought sheer religious bigotry.

Hassan Yadgarzadeh

Courtesy: Baloch Warna

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