My impressions of Mattancherry was informed by the widely available images and representations. But while shooting for “Mattancherry Series” all my perceptions shattered. I felt that every space is created to encourage cohabitation and togetherness, be it the reading rooms, or the many ‘waiting sheds’ or thetea shops and shifting corners. However, I also realised that Mattancherry has been exposed mostly through the quantity of its cultural diversity.
However, my work does not attempt to create new narratives or romanticise the ‘dark life’ but simply attempts to navigate the many Mattancherry’s and of itsthe contentment of life here that lie beyond cliches. My atttempt is to engage with the place through the life and times of its people. The people whose voices are unheard, their faces unseen, because they don’t attempt to stand out. They are the everyday people, the working class men and women trying to survive the present. They are the people who make Mattancherry.
K R Sunil is a photographer from Kodungallur, Kerala. He completed his BFA from Thrissur Fine Arts College. Sunil's works embody the inquiry of an ethnographer. He often cites this to him growing up listening to the stories of Muziris and its significance - as a place where cultures that often seem so widely divergent is, in fact, in constant contact and exchange with each other.
In 2016, he was awarded India Habitat Center's Photosphere grant for his work on the theme of "water". He has exhibited widely across India and participated in exhibitions including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, curated by Sudarshan Shetty. HIs work is currently on display at the year-end show curated by Suzanne Davies and Helen Reyment at the RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.