Depicting Cultures


“Cultural Photography” is the art of taking photos for the aim of telling a few individuals or a culture. The images could also be as straightforward as portraits of faces, or as common as street scenes, or as complicated because of the capturing of scenes that illustrate social relationships. Of course, these types of photos are nothing new. This was done at the birth ofhumanity, as proven by cave drawings in the Kingdom of Spain. What’s new and totally different nowadays is that the proliferation of affordable cameras that create “culture photography” accessible to everybody and, certainly, everyone the World Health Organization takes pictures with their phone may be a cultural creative person.

Kathakali: Eyes can speak a thousand words.

Kathakali: Perfection in preparation.

Kathakali (Malayalam) may be a common kind of Indian classical dance. It’s a “story play” quite art, however it’s differentiated by the historically male actor-dancers’ lavishly vibrant make-up, costumes, and face masks.

Kathakali is Kerala’s peculiar art, and is well-known throughout the world. The Nayaka, or main actor (always a man), seems fully regal. If he’s enjoying a mythical being or Nala, his face is green; if he’s enjoying a sage, it’ll be apricot yellow; if he’s enjoying a demoniac, it’ll be red.

Kathakali: Preparing himself for the show.

Staring: It’s all about expressions.

Kathakali photography is neither difficult nor simple. We can’t shoot images easily since expressions are more crucial in Kathakali Photography. We can easily capture all we need now are some passions. Sometimes you receive a picture right away, and other times you have to wait.

Kathakali: Man portraying Sita from Ramayana.

Kathakali: Man portraying Hanuman from Ramayana.

Nangiar Koothu may be a solo performance dance with a 1500-year history. it’s the sole sort during which feminine artists predominate. A vocalist, amid percussion instruments like Mizhavu, Edakka, and Thimila, recites Indo-Aryan poems throughout the dance performance. The dance contains a lot of refined movements, gestures, and attitudes, and it’s supported by the Natya Shastra, which was composed by Sage Bharatha within the second century.

Nangiar Koothu: It left such a vivid picture in my mind.

Nangiar Koothu: Curiosity reflects in her eyes.

The narrative of Lord Krishna, Sri Krishna Charitham, is frequently told in Nangiar koothu (Nangyar Koothu). The full narrative takes 12 days to tell. The background score is composed by Mizhavu, a percussion instrument. The story is told entirely through hand gestures and there is no conversation. This, too, was only shown in Koothambalam or temple theaters within the temple grounds.The chapter “Depicting Culture” is related to Kerala’s culture, religion, and their pride. We can see all about the dance forms Kathakali and Nangiar Koothu in this chapter.

All the photos and text in this post are copyright of Deepak verma, New Delhi, Creative Hut Institute of Photography.Their reproduction, full or part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.

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