‘Ain’t’ that something

Lyna Mohammad

The creative juices are flowing for some in the wake of the second COVID-19 outbreak in the Sultanate. With movement restrictions, they are tapping into that creativity to come up with interesting home videos to upload on social media platforms.

Content creator Alwi Salleh’s short documentary series on insects is gaining popularity among social network users. What makes this particular series unique is that Alwi, the producer and narrator, delivers the imaginary storyline in the Kedayan dialect.

The secondary school teacher has a love for all animals, and a keen interest in documentaries featuring the animal kingdom.

With venturing outdoors not a safe option for now, Alwi shoots ant videos at home, while also researching on them.

Asked why he adopts a Kedayan style of speaking for the documentaries, he said, “That is how my family and I communicate at home. It feels natural to talk in our ancestors’ dialect.”

Alwi Salleh waits patiently to capture the perfect shots for the docu-series. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Alwi has been active in creative work since his younger days, starting from visual arts, music followed by audio visual productions.

Uploading the first episode of the docu-series, the response was unexpected. The light-hearted video created in the hopes of sharing a laugh with his friends gained traction swiftly.

“I was honestly surprised when the number of shares shot up really high. The funny thing was people were forwarding it back to me via WhatsApp without the slightest clue that it was my work.”

Sharing how he goes about making the documentaries, Alwi said he plans what he wants to show and tell the audience.

Once the storyline and the facts about a particular species are amassed, the video shooting begins. He grabs his mobile phone and waits for his subjects – in this case, the ants.

“Patience is important when it comes to getting the right shots to be slotted in the storyline,” he added.

Asked if he intends to produce an episode focussing on health advice, standard operating procedures and restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak, Alwi said, “This is one of my many plans, but it is going to be a different genre of video. At the moment it is about planning out how to deliver those messages and advice.”

Asked what he hopes viewers would take away from his work, he said, “I hope they are able to better appreciate our surroundings, and understand how these creatures live and their importance to our ecosystems.”

Alwi is pleased to know that his work is appreciated and helps people through the hard times.

“It feels good that I can help people, in a way. At first I didn’t intend on anything. I did it as content for my social media account. But since the reception is good, I might do more for the public to enjoy.”