The recent ban on photography in the Kerala’s reserve forests, has been decried by a cross section of people at the inaugural session of the exhibition of wild life photographs taken by renowned wildlife photographer N. A. Nazeer here on Sunday.

Mons Joseph, MLA, assured the gathering that he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Forests Minister K. B. Ganesh Kumar.

According to reports, the decision on the ban was taken in retaliation to a not-so-positive response to the demand from Departmental officials for photos taken by a renowned wildlife photographer, for official use. According to Mr. Nazeer, he had already given a large number of images to the Department.

Wildlife photographs had played a pivotal role in creating awareness on wildlife among the people and also in bringing people from far off places to Kerala’s natural wealth. The ban, according to him, would negatively affect such efforts. Already a team from Sri Lanka had cancelled their visit to Kerala, hearing about the ban, he said. Photo journalists point out that the ban would now affect their functioning, especially when the wildlife-human confrontations were on the rise.

Inaugurating the exhibition, film director Blessy said ‘seeing’ was an essential part of learning, understanding, and even enjoying a subject. Photographers like Mr. Nazeer have contributed immensely and influenced the public mind in formulating their idea of the wild, he said.

Film director Joshy Mathew said Mr. Nazeer was the inspiration for his forthcoming movie, ‘Black Forest’.

Mr. Nazeer said it was his love for the wild that led him to photography and not vice-versa. He had nothing other than what was portrayed in the photographs to talk about the forests, he said.

The exhibition at Lalithakala Akademi art gallery at DC Kizhakkemuri Edom presents 26 select images made by Mr. Nazeer.

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