KOCHI: For 22-year-old Jishnu Prakash, photography is more than finding exquisite frames. He intends to capture life stories and narrate them to the world. Jishnu, who used to take photographs in school using his mobile phone, took the art seriously three years ago and has conducted around 11 exhibitions in the city to date. His exhibitions, usually conducted on roadsides are free to the public.
The second-year MA Malayalam student in Government College, Karyavattom, focuses on street photography. “Streets are a repertoire of stories comprising the good and bad. During my exhibitions, I narrate the stories behind the pictures. The viewer, in turn, shares their experience. It’s a give and take system,” he says.
Jishnu, who lives in Pattom, works part-time to meet his educational expenses and get the photos printed for exhibitions. “My parents have worked for daily wages. I’ve done many odd jobs from an early age to meet my expenses,” says Jishnu. He adds that the biggest surprise in his life came in the form of a Nikon camera while he was studying at Government Arts College, Thycaud.
“My teacher asked me to exhibit the photos which I took on a mobile phone at a fest. The chief guest was T N Seema teacher who attended the exhibition at my request and appreciated my work. After nine months, I was gifted a camera by Seema teacher at another college function,” says Jishnu. He then used the camera to help the families affected by the 2018 floods. “I took photos of around 25 homes that were damaged. I printed those and gave them to the families so that they could apply for government compensation,” he adds.
He wishes to become a Malayalam teacher while simultaneously continuing photography as a passion. “For me, photography is a way to serve society. I hope to travel to the country and capture more street photographs. I want to give a better life to my parents who have always supported me,” he says.