Our workshop at MCD Primary Girls’ School, Kucha Chelan turned out to be a power packed one. It began with some drawing exercises, where kids drew different facial expressions, and then each other’s faces. They read some comics made by students at another workshop and got to know about their topic, food, nutrition and hygiene. While initially, they seemed to be confused about the kind of stories they had to write, after some discussion and examples, they quickly understood and started talking about instances from their own life. Once they had a story, they began working on a visual script that would act as a framework for their final comic. The next day, they worked on the final comic, inked it and made it into a wall poster.
After 3 days of hard work, every student was ready with a comic that had been made by them from the scratch. These comics talked about the kind of food that they had and the kind that they should have, a balanced diet, clean and healthy food and personal hygiene as well. Reading each other’s comics, they could learn about various aspects of a healthy, nutritious diet, which was the goal of the workshop.
Two days full of stories, discussions and comics! The two day grassroots comics workshop last week was sure a success. While at first, the artistically inclined participants were majorly interested in drawing their comics, they gradually learnt what grassroots comics is all about, and how it’s less about the drawing skills and more about the story. Once the stories were ready, each participant was asked to read his/her story aloud. The stories and issues that came up ranged from bullying and feminism to caste and superstitions. Every story evoked an intense discussion which not only helped them refine their stories, but also opened their eyes to different aspects of the issue. After this was done, the participants prepared their visual scrips and day one was concluded.
On day two, the participants began working on their final comics. Drawing, writing and inking, there seemed to be a different kind of energy in the air. As the participants saw their comics come to life, the two days of hard work seemed worth the result. The workshop was concluded with all participants displaying their comics and getting feedback from the readers.
The Delhi Comic Arts Festival had a panel discussion on the Use of Comics for Social Change. The panelists were artists from Norway, Brazil, Switzerland and India. They discussed the importance of comics in the society and all of them were of the opinion that comics can act as a very powerful tool for social change.Emphasis was given on the fact that multiple narratives are necessary and more and more people need to generate content so that censorship becomes futile.
The Delhi Comic Arts Festival this week was an experience worth having! Sharad Sharma was among some of the great comic artists that presented their work at the festival. He began by talking about his early days in the mainstream media and how it’s failure to cover the dire conditions in the North Eastern region of the country prompted him to find an alternate medium that brings out people’s voices and issues, which he did in Grassroots Comics. He then proceeded to briefly tell the audience about how it works and how they too can create comics. After which he talked about World Comics Network and ran everyone through all that it has done over the years, since its foundation.
Word Comics Network was one of the exhibitors whose work was displayed at the Delhi Comic Arts Festival this week. The exhibition showed some comics made by people who have been trained by the World Comics Network over the years. These comics throw light on some issues that the people feel close to or consider worth being highlighted. Something that was worth noticing was how different the theme of each comic was, which shows that every person making them has a different story, issue and experience to share, making these comics very unique.
Shiv Kumar, an artist who attended a comic workshop by WCI years ago found the idea of comics in education interesting and started conducting workshops at various schools with teachers in Karnataka recently, proving that the art of creating comics, once learnt, never goes in vain.
When we entered the classroom at MCD Primary School, Turkman Road in Delhi, on the first day of a three day workshop, the students looked scared yet excited to know what was about to happen. As the workshop progressed, the kids started to lose their inhibition and began sharing their own stories on the topic of food, nutrition and hygiene. They later created comics based on these stories. At the end of the workshop, all students had a comic to show, which they were extremely proud of!