A satirical take on life’s harsh realities, inspired by Kochi-Muziris biennale

After six months of showcasing the civic issues of Kozhikode in an artistic light, curtains will be down on the first phase of the Kozhikode-Koyilandy Kunale on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti Day.

A three-day exhibition of ‘khadi’ paintings by artist Francis Kodankandath will be the last event of the Kunale, which began on April 1 — Fools’ Day — as a caricature of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Dramatist and poet Kavalam Narayana Panikker will inaugurate the exhibition at the Srishti Art Gallery at 5 p.m. on Monday.

The Kunale was inspired by the late Ramdas Vaidyar, who had made people of Kozhikode laugh at the ugliest realities. The Kunale, under the leadership of its two self-appointed curators R. Mohan and Mr. Kodankandath, brought to the limelight many contemporary issues through satirical events.

The Kunale pointed out that many issues that the authorities turn a blind eye to, were in fact harsh realities for the common man and that the cultural activists were purposely neglecting them.

The Kunale began by drawing attention to the artistic display of clothes by washermen at Muthalakkulam, who have been laundering the dirt and sins of the city for over a century. It criticised the incidents that led to the breaking of the glass window at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi art gallery and the insult dealt to sculptors by displaying their works on the beach in a negligent manner as part of the Shilpanagaram project.

It also highlighted the negligence towards the suffering of people living in the vicinity of Njeliyanparamba.

Unknown artists

Tributes were paid to hundreds of talented, yet unknown, artists living on the streets when Kathakali maestro Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair honoured street artist Sebastian Payyannur.

A painting camp of physically challenged artists from all over the State was also organised.

The Kunale paid homage to Ayishabi, who died after she fell into an open drain and expressed protest on the negligence of the authorities.

The Kunale activists floated colourful paper boats on the water-logged roads to draw attention to the deplorable condition of roads.

Mr. Kodankandath painted in torch light in protest against the dysfunctional streetlights on Mini Bypass Road.

The Kunale will be active online through a blog — Kozhikode-Koyilandy Kunale 2013.


  • 3-day exhibition of ‘khadi’ paintings by artist Francis Kodankandath the last event

  • Kunale began on Fools’ Day


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