Photoseries 'Summer Breeze' Captures The Vivid Nostalgia Of South Indian Summers

This photoseries evokes the carefree joy of childhood, and the warmth of togetherness
This photoseries evokes the carefree joy of childhood, and the warmth of togethernessAnita Kamaraj

Have you ever flipped through an old family album and been instantly transported back to a simpler time? A time filled with laughter shared with loved ones, the carefree joy of childhood, and the warmth of togetherness? Anita Kamaraj's photo series, titled 'கோடை கால காற்றே' (Kodai kaalam kaatre, translated as 'Summer Breeze'), evokes exactly that feeling, especially for those with South Indian roots.

The photographs depict a quintessential South Indian picnic scene bathed in the gentle glow of the summer sun - three women, dressed in south cotton sarees with flowers adorning their hair, sprawled out on freshly cut grass. The beauty of their sarees burst forth from the frame, mirroring the vibrancy of the delicious spread laid out before them. Wheel chips, murukku (a crunchy snack), kadalai mittai (sweetened peanuts or chikki), curd rice, lemon rice, and puliyogare (tamarind rice) – the very mention of these dishes is enough to set your mouth watering. But the scene goes beyond just the scrumptious food. Scattered amongst the food are playing cards, a pallankuzhi board (a traditional Mancala or two-player turn-based-strategy game), and well-worn copies of kisu kisu magazines – hinting at the fun and games that are sure to follow. 

Anita's photography style adds a layer of nostalgia to the scene. The muted tones and soft focus transport viewers to a bygone era, a time before the presence of smartphones and social media. The focus here is on genuine connection; on the simple pleasures of spending quality time with loved ones. Through her lens, she creates visuals that evoke the emotions stirred by the legendary South Indian composer Ilayaraja's music - imbibing everything depicted a sense of serenity and stirring a yearning for a simpler time.

In her artist statement, Anita reveals the inspiration behind the series.

"I wanted people to go down memory lane and visit their core memories. I wanted to portray that life is simple; a picnic with friends is as simple as this and can give a person the utmost happiness."

It's safe to say that her intention was beautifully realized. The photoseries is a gentle reminder of the importance of human connection and the joy that can be found in everyday moments.

Anita Kamaraj is a self-taught photographer, passionate about capturing moments in time. She describes photography as "the art of cheating time" and a way to freeze a fleeting moment and preserve it forever. 'Summer Breeze' is a testament to her ability to capture the beauty of everyday moments and imbue them with a sense of nostalgia and cultural significance. The series also celebrates the enduring power of human connection and the simple joys of life.

So, if you're looking for a glimpse into a traditional South Indian summer picnic, look no further. 'Summer Breeze', beautifully styled by Charu Srikanth, featuring Pravallika Prasanna Raju, Rave, Bhavna Kumar, with hair and make-up done by Sreshta Raju, is a must-see, along with a captivating short video edited by Ashwin Guru.

Check out Anita Kamaraj's work here.

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