Debtors’ PRISON by BC Collective • Modern Art in Kochi

BC Collective’s “Debtors’ Prison” is a mural telling the story of everyday life in Fort Kochi (the Mattanchery neighborhood), India. This art collective depict the city as a modern-day debtors’ prisons. From rats, cats and mosquitoes to dirty streets, monotonous professions and unrealized ambitions: Debtors’ Prison captures a side of Kochi’s city’s life, which most tourists never see.

Debtors' Prison by BC Collective - Street art in Kochi, India - 1

“My name is Shando. I’m working with BC. Actually we are academic painters but we don’t like that so we are coming out and painting on the walls. This was our first work, Debtors’ Prison. Its all about Fort Cochin stories. He is a fruit seller. People don’t have much money to buy fruit, so they buy the dirty fruit. They get that and cut the piece where it is dirty, and he sells that. The second guy is Gallit. He runs a little shop and sells cigarettes things like that. He is actually a very good singer. This guy is basically a housepainter but he can’t see the red gradients. If anybody comes to Fort Kochin by boat, they first meet this lady because in front of the boat jetty is this shop. I think she is not happy much. These people are not happy, actually. Here people are living in small, small houses – in a rented house. They are living in a very congested area, that should make them a little unhappy. Rats and cats. Here there are many mosquitoes. That’s because of the canal, it is a water source and its fully dirty. Very dirty streets. They’re only working on the road, building construction, or small, small shops. So these people are – I think these people are – living in a Debtors’ Prison because they have many ambitions about their lives. They have many hopes but their system is like this. Ah – glorious. Their mind is very colorful and the Kochin people are very colorful, actually. Its a smiling monkey. We’re living here like that, actually. We are very congested but we are crowded, because we want to exist.”

Debtors' Prison by BC Collective - Street art in Kochi, India - 3

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