Memon is a community of Muslims from Kutch area in Gujarat.  

Memon is a community of Muslims that migrated to Kochi from the Kutch area in Gujarath during the early part of the 19th century. Even though they migrated into Kochi from Kutch their roots can be traced back to Sindh region in Pakistan. It was in 1815 that a group of influential Memoni Muslim businessmen to settle in Kochi. It is believed that the influx of the Memonis into Kochi started after that. 

The role played by the community in transforming Kochi into a major trading hub is commendable. The community formed made many charitable trusts and contributed vastly to the socio-economic fabric Kochi. 

Education and women empowerment are two key areas were their contributions are immense. The community members have made commendable contributions to Urdu literature as well. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI

Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.

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