KOCHI: When Rahul Ravi picked up the camera for the first time almost five years ago, he was mostly interested in capturing the lush and robust hues of Kerala. Little did he know that his passion project would one day turn into a full-time obsession and lead him to create visual compositions addressing socially charged issues. His series on the atrocities faced by women in the wake of the brutal rape and murder of 8-year-old Asifa garnered acclaim, so did his recent photo story on the carnage of Delhi riots. The 27-year-old is back with a new series on the Covid-19 outbreak which has brought the world to a standstill.
“We did three photoshoots for the series. While the first two pictures talk about the global spread of the virus in subtle and even simplistic ways, the next set of photos are meant to warn people about the devastating ramifications of not practising social distancing. We took all the precautions. Many components in the photos are electronically generated,” says Rahul who is based in Thrissur.
The first frame in the series features a woman, evidently a doctor, in her professional garb holding a globe. The second is a more stylistic composition inspired by Michelangelo’s ‘The creation of Adam’ and shows a contaminated hand covered in black soot touching another and thereby passing on the infection.The next two photos, however, take on macabre tones with the frames featuring a scene of a sterile mass burial.
Increasingly grim reports on the pandemic prompted Rahul to undertake the project. With each of his photo uploads that are accompanied by a detailed caption on his Instagram handle @rr_rahulravi, the photographer hopes to create awareness among people about measures that everyone should adopt to contain the virus.
“It is frankly frustrating that despite continuous directives by the government and the authorities, some people are still acting irresponsibly. I thought visual media would help drive the point home. So I decided to come up with the series. The burial pictures are meant to evoke alarm in the viewer. That could be our fate if we don’t follow what is being told by experts,” adds Rahul.