KOCHI: In April, along with the rest of the world, Kochi-based photographer Rahul V Raju came to know that the flyover at Palarivattom will be closed temporarily owing to repair works. In the first week of May, he was disturbed to hear the news that IIT Madras had found major structural flaws in construction.
“I was a civil engineer once and had been involved in the construction of two bridge structures. For a flyover to be a failure, one can only imagine how much corruption and indifference to human lives went into it,” says the founder of Palette Media, a Kochi-based wedding photography company. What better way to express one’s displeasure over a social issue than in one’s own capacity? And Rahul’s medium is wedding photography. In an attempt to voice his protest, he did a pre-wedding shoot with the defunct flyover in the backdrop.
For this, Rahul approached his clients Sachin and Devika Venugopal. “I shot the couple’s engagement photos. They were the ideal pulse to reflect the frustrations of the youth. When I pitched the idea to Sachin, he was all in and so was Devika. Wedding is an intimate affair. Not a lot of people would want to address political and social issues at their personal event,” says Rahul.
A week ago, ‘Save the Date’ photos of the couple were shot on the flyover ahead of their August wedding. “These were ‘in-your-face’ photos to show the authorities concerned that the youth is watching,” says Rahul. While the couple posed with a sheet that looked like the detailed blueprint and plan in one photo, another one had them throwing the sheet away reflecting the attitude shown by builders towards the construction of the flyover.
Within days of posting the photos on social media, Rahul, Devika and Sachin’s inboxes were flooded with messages of appreciation. “The public has a tendency to forget. Because of this, such incidents keep repeating. The aim was to let people know that it is our social responsibility to not forget,” says Rahul.