KOCHI: The bulky camera set on top of a tripod seems too big against Anlina Aju’s tiny frame but she knows how to operate the equipment. The seven-year-old is a photographer, a phrase not many of us hear often. This Class II student picked up the camera at the age of five and started clicking pictures of things around her. She is now all set to exhibit her photographs at Durbar Hall from Friday.
It was Anlina’s grandfather who introduced her to photography. “He is a photographer himself and worked at Malayala Manorama. He would pick Anlina up from school every day and on the way teach her how to use the camera on his mobile. He noticed that she had a natural penchant for taking photos so he would take her to the Kaniyampuzha River close to where we live in Eroor and guide her on how to set a frame. In November, he gifted her a camera which has now become her constant companion. The photographs selected for the exhibition were taken over last one year,” says Aan Mary, Anlina’s mother, who works as a teacher.
The 58 frames that will be on display are mostly of the river and the habitation surrounding it. The exhibition has been curated into three series called Nostalgia, Habitat and Lamentation. While Nostalgia comprises of pictures of to an idyllic landscape and the flourishing trees by the banks, Habitat depicts the advent of migratory birds unique to the state, the freshwater denizens of the Kaniyampuzha and the Chinese fishing nets that are a source of living for the fisherfolk. Lamentation turns to an important subject of violence committed on nature and her reciprocal fury that Kerala recently experienced.
Anlina accompanied her grandfather to document her flood-hit neighbourhood. The chirpy young photographer who is a student at Naval Children School is excited about her upcoming show being conducted with assistance from Lalit Kala Academy.
“We sent the pictures to the Academy who replied saying they were impressed with Anlina’s talent and granted us the opportunity to exhibit,” adds Aan. On being asked if she wants to take up photography as her career, Anlina is quick with her response, “I am still young so I can’t say if I want to be a photographer when I grow up. For now, I want to study more about how to use the camera from my grandfather.”