Kanapadavukal (Photo Exhibition April 15-21, 2024)

The photo exhibition – Kanapadavukal -was a dream come true for Kole birders collective- a group of like minded people-dedicated birdwatchers,nature lovers,conservationists from various walks of life-bound together by a single cause -NATURE.Various activities like birdwalks,surveys,expeditions have been going on and Kole birders have been active in organizing,participating and carrying out these undertakings.Photography gets incorporated into birding at some point of us birders lives..as documentation comes handy for record keeping,reproduction elsewhere and sharing with compatible friends/groups.Social media platforms hitting the scene especially during covid times-witnessed the bonding and unison of agreeable minds in a profound fashion!!Sharing one’s findings,pictures..the discussions and debates that follow go on and on ..on a regular basis.

To bring out an expo of these incredible and invaluable images specially the ones shot only in the Kole wetlands was under considerable consideration and the unity among us was our driving force.In course of time like-minded organizations also supported and saw us through!!Incredible..the desire to bring this out to the community and the sheer willingness to work it out -went a long way to materialize ‘Kanapadavukal’..So also did new arenas open up and supports poured in along with~500 photographs from 60+photographers.Alas..the curation team did have a lot on their plate!! A lot of edits,daily meetings and last minute tedious works went in as the team did not want any major flaws,conducting such an exhibition primally.The team lead by Manoj (Karingamadathil),Manoj (Kunnambath), Subin, Rahul Sankar,Mini Chechi handling the accounts,Rajana and Nigin dealing with the PR works.. and many more.Social media invites-personalized and featuring each photographer went viral.Starting with a press meet the week prior to the event,we continued to hit the medias with promo vedeos from prominent artists like V.K Sreeraman, Mr Suresh Elamon..Mr Harinarayanan(Lyricist)and the like. Day 1 saw the maximum toil with setting up the pictures before the inaugural.Lot of running around and sweat went into setting up the show at the Lalitha kala Akademy-but the final the result was amazing and heartthrilling.There were a lot of technical challenges in the midst of the ongoing festival season.April15th forenoon was marked by the inaugural function- by the District collector Mr.V R Krishna Theja.Friends and family who gathered for the same encased the excitement of all of us.The event was dedicated to the bird man of Kerala.The day also saw a remarkable event of the release of the reprint of the book ‘Keralthile pakshikal’by the maestro Induchoodan sir(K.K.Neelakantan)by Sahithya academy organised by the Indichoodan foundation.The day marked the 101st birth anniversary celebrations of the legend who remains an amazing inspiration for all of us birders.The release of the book Pakshikalum manushyanum by his disciple Mr Suesh Elamon took place in a grand manner with writers,birders and naturalists assembling with great enthusiasm..all in the name of the great ornithologist of Kerala whose life was dedicated to the avian kingdom.

The days April 15-21st 2024 was a time of comraderie.. a gathering of lovely minds..enlivened by discussions,chitchats,music and happiness..A period when our dear and near one’s lived the moment with us..Top-notch birders,photographers,educators,students,laymen all had their see..enjoyed in their own ways.It was moments of joy and pride when appreciation flew in from various quarters..Yet another matter that came up was the demand to conduct more of such expos.All groups were greeted with smile by our enthusiastic team..whether be it students from KAU,school children from Rangachethana,tourists from a KSRTC trip,friends from nearby districts like Malappuram and EKM.We mused that indeed birds of the same feather flock together.The small things like the take home bookmarks with the name and logo-also mattered-a sweet reminder of this wonderful event.Social media and print media coverage was good.Review messages including the ones penned down in our register and those that appeared in social media was proof enough.The week concluded with a community gathering with Dr Nameer on April 20th,memento distribution to the ones behind the scenes who toiled for Kole birders,live music by our members and similar events on April21st .

Dr Dhanya Sreejith
Kole birders collective.

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