Photo Project : Quarantine Drag | Photography by Rakesh Asiletti

Updated: May 23

I am an extremely extrovert, optimistic, people person and for me a regular day wouldn’t end without meeting with at least 50 people. It was around 5 years from the time when I quarantined my art, and that was to crack AIEEE. But I couldn’t withstand the staying without it. And the next time I came, I came as a dancer who never wants to leave the stage. Since a regular time, I always ensured to not stay at home even in the weekend. I ensured to rush, run and engage myself with lots and lots of people around the city. I never want a day to be spend with out art. Somedays it was dance or drag or performance art. My body became accompanied with a constant Adeline rush to create, create and create art.




But, Soon the news of corona virus creeped into my devices, I tried to convince myself. It won’t come to my country, or my city and as it developed, I ensure, I can still get a place. I can still get people and I still share my art with personal effect. However, as the time passed the boundaries around me sucked in and became tight. Post the lock down announcement, I got confined to be into four walls. The first week was majorly went retrospecting and telling myself, I cannot stop. Thankfully I had a camera and a friend who can click pictures. It was then I decided I would create an art with this medium.

I started performing drag in 2019, June. Drag, an artform usually a man who performs as a woman but now evolved from Dress Resembling a Girl to Dress resembling a gender. For drag I used to shop a lot, pick up clothes I loved, items I liked. I used to create looks and then shop and spend a bomb to make that look. Drag gave me a way of expression. Drag also helps me to create voice for myself. While quarantined, I started telling myself “Queer people lived half of their life in closets, so it would be a cake walk for us to be isolated for few days but it actually gives opportunity to put the heteronormative society within a confined space so it could get slighter of the closet experiences.” And that is why its important to be in drag when in quarantine. Every day I picked up a look. The first week as I started, I got the very inspiration from the excessively heard term over the week “Corona Virus”.



While the pandemic was already threatening the country, it was important to call it “Ordinary” to ensure we don’t create panic but create awareness. Culture of anti-art gives the opportunity prevailed to represent even diseases. Taking an example from Japan, when in the 1960s and 1970s where Hijikis Tatsumi was dancing in the Butoh, after the end of the postwar reconstruction of the Second World War, was entering a high economic growth period. Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry in Japan abandoned all the waste to the river, and the sea on the coast of Japan was contaminated with garbage, heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium that caused mutations in human cells, causing a number of pollution diseases.In the past, Minamata in Kumamoto prefecture was affected by mercury sulfide dripped from the fertilizer company Nippon Nitrogen, the spine of the fish curls and cannot be sold on the market, the local fisherman ate it without knowing were contaminated with mercury pollution. And, many people were victims of serious Minamata disease. Tatsumi Hijikata, who continued to collect the weakened bodies, incorporated it into his own dance with the deepest resonance in distorted limbs of Minamata disease patients.




While the modern dance people were enjoying the creation of a beautiful dance, Tsutsumi Hijikata alone has resonated deeply in the shape of its deformed and disabled human life and had created a novel Beauty that has never been in human history. This was the idea to decentralize drag to representation of disease in human form. When you present something in a human form there is an awareness, a reliability and an imagination which makes people be aware. Just as how Liberty , Nation's , Elements if life are represented in multiple art forms, it was also essential to represent a disease to untag the fear and make it just a person to fight with.


As the days followed, I was running out of my ideas of cloths and fashion. it was then when I starte