M.R. Rajan has been in the field of graffiti works for about 30 years now. However, the CPI(M) South Panangad branch secretary says that he has never gone through such lean times, describing the lockdown and the lack of work brought about by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, hundreds of artists like him have been given a lifeline by the declaration of elections to local bodies, scheduled for December 10. The ban on plastic-based materials from the campaign scene and restrictions due to the COVID-19 protocol have forced candidates of all political parties to resort to the time-tested wall graffiti to reach out to voters and convey their messages.
He said that most of the candidates of major fronts had seen their graffiti campaigns completed while Independent candidates were awaiting the allocation of symbols for the work to begin. He added that the elections to local bodies had given some relief to artists like him because there was sufficient work now available to them.
The COVID-19 lockdown saw businesses grind to a halt and most of the business establishments and retailers had virtually ended publicising their products and services. This resulted in work orders drying up, he added.
Revathi Alex, the CPI(M) candidate from Thuthiyoor in Thrikkakara Municipality, is an art teacher. She is an art graduate from RLV College, Thripunithura. She is using her talents for her campaign and does graffiti. She said that she had been doing some art work on her own from home when she decided to join the contest to the municipal council.
With graffiti artists getting too busy with the election work, Revathi Alex decided to do her own publicity graffiti. The work has attracted the attention of other candidates too in the municipal elections.