Let Humanity Bloom - Wall Art Project, Chennai
20th August, 2018
I am recalling one of my favorite Mural Art projects, which will always remain in my heart. I left Bangalore with my friend Priyanka Ramu and a volunteer Noella, not knowing what to expect out of Chennai.
Two months prior, we met Sreejith Sundaram, a budding theatre artist and a LGBTQIA rights activist working with the transgender community. He introduced us to the community in Chennai. Eager and curious, I was dreaming of the possibilities that would come my way.
Amidst the sun, sea breeze and the smell of fish on the fishermen port along the seashore, lay a beautiful small colony of quarters that piles up like a deck of cards. This scene welcomed us to a tsunami relief quarters in a small town on the outskirts of Chennai – Ernavur.
We were greeted initially by a young transman Ramesh, who lives with Soundaryamma in her home there. The Tsunami Relief Quarters was granted to the community by the Tamil Nadu government.
There, Soundaryamma mentioned the story of their revolutionary victory of getting the housing from the government. “After constant fight, it was Srijith Sundaram and Dhanam Akka from Snehidi Foundation, who tremendously helped us with it,” said Soundaryamma.
She then introduced us to Reena Amma, Kanchana, Preethi and a few others from the community. That evening, collectively, we went to choose the wall we wanted to paint. We finalized it over cups of tea and conversations.