As I traveled around the city, meeting new people and having new experiences, I couldn't help but feel ambivalent about how the Biennale might affect my creativity. While navigating the many venues of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 22-23, I observed people interacting with the various installations, images, and works of visual art in countless ways, often appearing confused. I'll admit, I was occasionally puzzled by a few artworks myself.
With people coming from all four corners of the world, Cochin is far more diverse than I have ever imagined. I was surrounded with freckled and suntanned faces, both young and elderly, wearing colorful clothing. As an artist, it was inspiring to see these individuals enjoying our craft, clothing, and way of life.
Despite this, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching everything through an invisible camera lens, as if I didn't quite belong anywhere or there.
As I explored Pepper House, another venue for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, I had the pleasure of meeting May Stamker, a native of Israel. I noticed her adding a touch of vibrancy to the area with her vivid pink hair, which moved quickly among the greens of the heritage property. Impressed by her presence, I asked if I could take a few photographs, and May kindly agreed.
As luck would have it, I also ran into Beligna and her daughter Milenna while exploring the area. Beligna, who is 82 years old and featured in the images, is living proof that anything is achievable with good health. She has such a colorful personality, which was simply refreshing to witness. "I am saddened to see how things had changed since the 1980s, but I am also relieved to know that some things may never change like the buildings here," said Beligna.
Meeting Igorr, a Spanish traveller who appears to be quite exhausted in these images, I was utterly taken aback. Igorr helped to understand why Hindi should always be chosen above English for Indians. I'm pleased that we were able to connect on a human level and have some enlightening conversations. These are the types of interactions that uplift you and show you both how simple and tough saying goodbye can be.
to be contd...