Artists attempt to immortalise Kerala’s real-life superheroes with sculptures and paintings

Humans forget. That’s one of our many intrinsic flaws.
Fathima Hakkim:  The fishermen from heaven
Fathima Hakkim: The fishermen from heaven

A lot has been said about the rescue efforts during the recent catastrophic Kerala floods. Yet, humans forget. That’s one of our many intrinsic flaws. Case in point: The lack of documented stories from Kerala’s catastrophic floods in 1924, besides the odd few faded newspaper clippings.

However, Kodungallur-based sculptor, ‘Da Vinci’ Suresh wants to do everything in his power to ensure true stories about unsung heroes who saved thousands of lives during the recent deluge remain etched in stone, literally. Suresh—who is popular for his motorised sculptures—spent five days on his new work which includes several polyform/fibre pieces. The gold-hued installation, which will reportedly be on display during an upcoming exhibition at Thiruvananthapuram’s Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi, portrays fishermen on a boat helping military personnel airlift the entire flood-ravaged state of Kerala.


Da Vinci Suresh’s sculpture
Da Vinci Suresh’s sculpture

Architect/artist Fathima Hakkim attempts to shift the limelight onto the region’s ‘unsung heroes’ too. Fathima tells us she was hard-pressed for time—while running around the city helping with rehabilitation efforts. In fact, the youngster personally drove down from Kollam, her hometown, to Kochi, in the midst of the deluge to do so. “One story I kept hearing during the journey was of the fishermen, who some say were the first responders to appear like angels on boats. Since a picture can change the world, I wanted to create a drawing that reflected this emotion,” states the ‘heartist’, as she’s popularly known.


Artist and architect, Fathima Hakkim
Artist and architect, Fathima Hakkim

Her heartfelt Instagram post of the painting on @fathima_hakkim reads: “Everything around demanded to be turned into art. The compassion. The pain. The love. The suffering. From camps to affected areas. The smiles when the food reaches. The hope when hands are stretched to help. This was a lesson for me. How everything shatters to nothing in minutes. How beautiful and kind humans can be. Let me start by thanking our own army. The army we conveniently forgot when their homes were taken by the sea. The army of the sea. Of the people. Who left their drowning homes to save others. Who reassured Kerala that they will bring back our loved ones. To the fishermen. We owe you. Our lives. Till death.”

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