Mumin Bhat founded Captured Illusions in 2017, an art and literary magazine. He always wanted to create Kashmir centric content, but with no one to help He took on the roles of a writer, reporter, editor, and publisher. An avid photographer, people soon started to notice his extraordinary photography through the pages of his magazine. As everyone fell in love with his clicks, he found himself on the streets of
downtown, near banks of dal, and beyond lofty mountains, clicking more pictures every day and posting them in his Instagram feed.
There was an explosion of hits and shares not just from Kashmir but across the world. People started to connect with the work that made him realize that he can capture Kashmir through his lens and
challenge the stereotypes southward in mainland India.
He chose to show the world, the unseen reality that was masked by optical illusions creating by those in the fancy newsrooms, he wanted to challenge those stereotypes that defined Kashmiri people for decades, the hatred and the animosity they faced across India.
Mumin Bhat born and raised in Srinagar, the nineties was a difficult period for Kashmiris, it greatly impacted his teenage and turned him a man early of his age. He would always engage in social and community works, helping those affected by the situation.
Looking back at the time, Mumin said “I could notice the battle of ideas and narratives happening in front of us, the loud noise of barrels couldn’t keep us away from expressing ourselves through different forms of art. I’m a proud Kashmiri, and for me, it has always been Kashmir First.”
Techie turned Instagram influencer flipped towards media first as a Radio Host for national radio channel – that’s when he understood the importance of mass media. He wanted his own content instead of reading scripts thus decided to start his own art magazine, giving a platform to thousands of artists to express themselves freely.
Mumin Bhat became a well-known name in circles of artists, musicians, and poets when he started open mic sessions tagged as let me speak, in a place like Kashmir where censorship and check on events like these are strong, words are counted and measured on a thin line.
Mumin says “it was a big challenge for me to put on this show, I wanted everyone to express freely, mental stress is highest in Kashmir cos the freedom of speech and expression has been mutualized
when people express they feel inner peace.”
Thousand of participants have spoken and expressed using various art forms through his initiative, talking about Kashmir and beyond, their personal and collective struggles, curfew nights, veiled
beauties and the meadowlands far away.
With no support from government Mumin started his literary magazine, its one of the most read literary magazines at the moment in Kashmir, printing over 30,000 copies monthly. He has also successfully conducted over 14 open mic sessions, the most so far in Kashmir and the only one
without any breaks.
He is an Instagram sensation among youth, from his mesmerizing clicks and ice-breaking just a minute videos featuring prominent figures of Kashmir.
From renowned Journalist Rifat Abdullah to RJ Sofi, he has interviewed everyone, creating awareness and presenting the real face of Kashmir, otherwise disfigured by propaganda and false
Mumin concludes, “I was greatly inspired by Nas Daily, I don’t want my content to just entertain my audiences but also educate them about Kashmir and its people.”
Today, Mumin heads a team of 15 people at Captured Illusions, years of commitment and hard work has paid off as many big brands are showing interest in working with him.