Deepam, sociology and ecology (part one)

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Jiby Charles, a photographer and graphic designer based in Bangalore has been creating visuals of the flora and fauna of Tiruvannamalai as part of Project 365. His interest also extends to the sociological dimension of Arunachala Hill… how the people of the land relate to the Hill and its ecology is an aspect he has been searching… the extent of people’s involvement in managing this ancient practice and how coordinated are the several thousand people in bringing ghee and other necessities for the festival… Even though Deepam is not Jiby’s direct concept, he has been attempting to bring out the connection between the people, the flora and fauna of this ancient town. More than being a mere witness to this grand festival, Jiby has become a part of the festival Jiby and Arnav started early in the morning, only to join the parivattam (a ceremony to respect t he ‘Nattar’ family who would be lighting the fire)… however, as the Nattar family was all set to climb up Arunahcala, Jiby and Arnav also joined them – they didnt get much time to neither have their breakfast, nor find proper shoes… they stopped a brief while, only to  buy a plastic bag to cover their cameras… the journey of four hours, climbing the steep hill barefoot.. mid-day sun didn’t fetter their passion !!! Deepam, the birth of Lord Murugan, the deity of Tamil language is celebrated by all as the festival of light… People from different caste, religion and belief play a role.. Nattars are traditional fishermen who light the lamp.. the Achary’s, the traditional wood carvers make the chariots…. the Chettiyars decorate the gods… Thousands of liters of pure ghee donated by people are carried uphill to lit the gigantic fire seen several kms around the Hill…

Jiby is hailing from a christian family… He has done his Bachelor Degree in Visual Communication from Hindusthan College of Arts & Science (Bharathiar University, Coimbatore). He currently lives in Bangalore. He is passionate about photography, design and traveling. Sharing few of his Deepam photographs.

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Deepam 2014 / photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

The procession of saint poets

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And, the saint poets and their gods are on the road… fully decorated in their various vahanas (vehicles)!!! Giving dharshan to the thousands of devotees and others… Many are touched by their own overwhelming bhakti, whilst others are moved by the sheer joy and faith of the devotees.. there are quite a few who would be silently enjoying the beauty of this artistic expression.. These priceless idols of our culture being shown to the public to look and experience is a celebration by in itself. Project 365 photographers have also been swept away by the festive mood of this ancient town… halogen lights and oil lamps warms up the chilled nights and the team gets ready for their ever fresh encounters…. Most of the photographers are using their smart phone to document this extensively documented festival. “Intimacy is the key”, said Abul Kalam Azad. “We are not mere witness to this festival, but we are part and parcel of the whole celebration. The smart phone makes it necessary for the photographer to be very close with their subject… it means a dialogue, a smile, a hug, a word or any form of exchange is a prerequisite to the photograph itself”, He added. Leading project 365 photographer Dinesh Khanna was supposed to lead the Deepam documentation. However, due to the sudden demise of his beloved mother, he is unable to join the team now. So, Abul is continuing to lead the team. He said,, “Amidst this overflowing mood of celebration, we have received this sad news from Dinesh… Let us salute and respect this loving mother and thank her for gifting this wonderful photographer to our world.”

The online feed of Deepam festival is also made in Project 365 page facebook page and instagram feed #etpproject365

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Periyapuranam chanting / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Drumming / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Manikandan, the sarathi of silver chariot / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The procession / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The women trumpeter of Sri Thirunavukarasar band / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

As the temple and its surrounding bubbles with the festival, there are many a preparation that had underway to ensure the peaceful proceedings.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the tireless work of the police department….

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the most awaited “Mattu Chanda”. Last year the absence of the mattu chanda (cow market) was very much felt and the upcoming mattu chanda is expected by the spectators and buyers alike… our neighborhood bulls getting ready for the chanda…

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

For more deepam photographs check #etpproject365 and #deepam

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

 

Deepam, the festival of light

Karthikai Deepam, festival of lights is one of the oldest festivals celebrated by Tamil people. Deepam is observed in every home and every temple, and falls in the month of Kārttikai (mid-November to mid-December) as per Tamil Calender. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and pournami (full moon). This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. Many legends and lyrical poetry have grown round this star. The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs. Houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day. One of the earliest references to the festival is found in the Ahananuru, a book of poems, which dates back to the Sangam Age (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.). The Ahananuru clearly states that Karthigai is celebrated on the full moon day (pournami) of the month of Karthigai, as per South Indian calendar. It was one of the most important festivals (peruvizha) of the ancient Tamils, including now the areas of modern Kerala too. Avaiyyar, the renowned poetess of those times, refers to the festival in her songs. Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around. The fire (deepam) is called Mahadeepam.

This ancient Dravidian practice has been documented extensively in verse and visuals. The gods and goddesses, the rituals and chariots, the crowd and girivalam, every aspect of this festival has already been documented. Team 365 has another important vision, to preserve the visuals of the changing culture and lifestyle. Many may have noticed the ever changing scenario every deepam, the absence of the Mattu chanda (cow market), the advent of machine made drinks / coffees, ever growing new buildings and shops…. the visually exciting days and nights of Tiruvannamalai Deepam festival has a different dimension to be portrayed. Photography in essence is a play between light and shade (absence of light). This deep connection, the changing people, scenario and the colors of Deepam is what team 365 decided to capture. The team would be per-dominantly using iphone photography with instagram applications. Few photographs from the instagram Deepam series:

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Jiby Charles / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Biju Ibrahim / Project 365 public photo archives

roject 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

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