The people of Fort Kochi join hands to host a unique six-day summer arts camp
For kids growing up in an urban landscape, holidays usually translate to camp visits. Usually, such events are expensive yet parents oblige as they offer a variety of bespoke activities to keep youngsters engaged. Janotsavam 2019 begs to be different in this regard. This six-day summer arts camp—which will focus on fine arts, kalaripayattu, and ethnomedicine—is open to participants of all ages and is absolutely free of charge.
Held at Vasco Da Gama Square, this is an initiative of Unarvu, a native community comprised of graffiti artists, street vendors, restaurateurs, and musicians, who hail from Fort Kochi. Yet, what prompted a tourist hub to host such a not-for-profit gathering? Sreeni KS, a popular artiste who goes by the moniker Streetdog, and doubles up as the joint secretary for Unarvu, has an answer for us.
“This is my home town and I really wanted to do something for the people here who have constantly inspired my art. While working on the sets of an upcoming film called Veliyaperunaal, I got to interact with the natives at a deeper level. During our conversations, I mentioned how fulfilling it was to work at an art crew called Kanavu in Wayanad’s tribal regions. It was then that all of them asked, why we can’t do something similar for the people of Fort Kochi? The on-ground support lent by them is what led to the formation of Unarvu and subsequently, Janotsavam 2019, ” shares Sreeni, whose art has helped him garner close to 8,500 followers on Instagram.
The aforementioned painter has put his social media clout to good use, by encouraging his followers and friends to chip in monetarily or to send in art/paint materials for kids (namely watercolour, soft pastels, and acrylics). And help has been pouring in. “Unarvu hopes to revive the aesthetics of the ancient gurukul system at this camp. Every day will begin with basic warmups in kalarippayattu, taught by masters: Santosh and Suresh who hail from Wayanad,” he explains.
This session will be followed by classes in graffiti art, landscape art and object studies led by popular artists Elwin Charly, Pavi Sankar, Arathi Vaiga, and more. “The final day would be concluded with a painting competition where participants would be awarded certificates by the prestigious Dr Abdul Kalam Foundation,” claims Sreeni. Also worth noting is how every participant will be taught the basics of herbal ethnomedicine by famed tribal practitioners Maruthan and Vanjiyamma. In short, the camp hopes to touch upon every participant’s mind, body, and soul.
From May 20-26.
For more, visit facebook.com/unarvukochi
Inputs from Elna Siby Jose