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

 

MUKHAMUKHAM – Thrissur

“I already like the town”, said Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran, as soon as we stepped down from the train. The other team members Arnav Rastogi and Bhagyashri Patki nodded their heads in affirmation. It was as if all the tiredness of the long journey from Tiruvannamalai to Thrissur had vanished by the mere sight of this ancient town. The following day 12th November 2014, Project 365 presentation was to be held at Government Fine arts college, Thrissur. This event is all the more important for EtP, as the next phase of the project 365 is planned to documenting Muziris, the ancient seaport and urban center that existed from around 1st century AD.

Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

Thrissur, popularly known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala has many other important facades. Synonymous with the world famous and spectacular Pooram Festival, Thrissur is the abode of several prominent cultural centres including the Kerala Kalamandalam, Sahitya Academy and Sangeetha Nataka Academy. Thrissur has an extraordinarily rich past as well as a vibrant present. From ancient times, this district with its cultural heritage and archaeological wealth has played a significant role in the political history of South India. Many rulers and dynasties beginning with the Zamorins of Kozhikode, Tipu Sultan of Mysore and Europeans including the Dutch and the British have had a hand in moulding the destiny of this region. Raja Rama Varma popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran is the architect of the present Thrissur town. Thrissur has a large number of well-known temples including the Vadakkumnathan temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and Paramekkavu temple, as well as two famous churches, the Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Vadakumnathan temple / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

We checked into YMCA where our stay had been organised by the college. The other two project 365 photographers Biju Ibrahim and Iqbal MK were to join us the next day (12th November). Project 365 Director Photographer Abul Kalam Azad had given us interesting places to visit in Thrissur and the Vadakumnathan topped the list. So we decided to go there. What was inside took our breath away. This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of Kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a Kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. The shrines and the Kuttambalam display vignettes carved in wood. The temple, along with the mural paintings, has been declared as a National Monument by India under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.  According to popular local lore, this is the first temple built by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. This place of worship is now a living museum of our ancient culture. In our culture, art is a public property, owned and protected by people. The consciousness of the artists is collective. There are no signatures that claims any ownership.

Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Shiv Kiran

Project 365 aims at collectively creating a locally placed permanent space for photo art that portrays contemporary culture and lifestyle with its profound mystical roots. In present context, these kind of initiatives are rare and without any protocol to follow, Project 365 is evolving its own values, practices and ethics. Prof. Kavitha Balakrishnan, Fine Arts college, rightly said, “It is a collective responsibility”.

Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi
Thrissur Government Fine Arts College / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi

On 12th November, at 2.00 pm, MUKHAMUKHAM event started. The ambiance of the fine arts college was another dimension that added much value to the MUKHAMUKHAM presentation. The presence of sculptures all around added to the rawness of the old building. Prof. Lekha, Principal of the college inaugurated the event with a welcome speech. Prof. Kavitha Balakrishnan introduced the team. Ms. Tulsi swarna lakshmi, Manager, Project 365 introduced the project with the audience. About hundred and twenty students participated in the event.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Photography (C) Bhagyashri Patki / EtP Archives

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

14th November 2014

Bangalore

Project 365 – call for photographers

 REVAMPING AND STRENGTHENING PROJECT 365 TEAM
Call for photographers

Vanakkam.

Project 365, the PUBLIC PHOTO ART PROJECT initiated by EtP commenced on 15th August 2014 and in less than 2 months, the team has created interesting photographic visuals of Tiruvannamalai, one of the ancient South Indian towns situated in Bangalore-Pondy highway. A select few of these images are shared regularly on facebook / blog (www.ekalokamtrustforphotography.wordpress.com).

The intent behind Project 365 is to initiate public photo art projects in rural settings, so that the large rural audience could also take part in contemporary art practices. Rejuvenating the practice of using ‘good-old’ traditional analog medium in documenting social life, politics, religion, food, customs and traditions, etc., is another vision behind this initiative. At the same, this project incorporates the modern digital techniques as well. Project 365 is not one of those run off the mill photo-journalism or traditional documentary project done in urban settings. Our vision is to use the photography, in collaboration with other art forms to create visuals of a paradigm shift moment of fast growing villages and small towns. This is a long term vision of EtP and in the next years, we will document the tri-sangam Tamilakam ports and the entire Cauvery Delta and its life style.

Unlike the usual individual focused documentation projects, this initiative is based on collective consciousness. We belong to the lineage that properly believes ‘art is a public property’, that, more than a commodity, art is symbol of our culture and, therefore, has to be owned and protected by the people. True to our art tradition, Project 365 encourages public participation and intends to create a permanent space to exhibit these valuable individual art images for public access and use. With this vision, Project 365 photographers have been working on their chosen subject and artistically creating visuals of the multi-cultural aspects of this ancient town. As part of the project, several outreach activities are organized, in which photographers are actively interacting with the local public. We are grateful for the response of the public to this cultural initiative.

However, few photographers are not in a position to commit and give the dedication this year-long project requires, due to other professional commitments / personal reasons. EtP and Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad believe that a stronger, committed and pasionate team of photographers is required to ensure success for this novel initiative. EtP has a greater responsibility to the public, who have been sharing their time and resources to this project. So, we have to revamp and strengthen our team. If interested to be part of this Project 365 team, contact, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com

Project 365 initiators and partners