Want to trace World Comics India? Join us at facebook group and trace the ongoing events and upcoming workshops. You can also have glimpse of how this empowering tool is being used worldwide by people raising their issues and voices everyday! www.facebook.com/groups/comicspower/
Want to learn the art of comics making? You are just a step away! Simply mail at – mail (at) worldcomicsindia.com and register your names for weekend workshops. You do not require any prior skills. Remember Any Body Can Draw and so can you!! Simply learn this simple and unique art and raise your own issues!!
Simply volunteer or become an intern and join the awareness creating medium. Every year both national and international students come for internships and learn both the art of comics making and training other individuals. Worldwide people has volunteered spreading the Grassroots Comics as a tool of expression everywhere!!
You too can join the league! Simply mail at – mail (at) worldcomicsindia.com. Remember No prior skills or specific qualification is required to become a Grassroots Comics creator and trainer .All you need is just willingness to volunteer and learn the medium!!
“Its amazing to hear such variety of stories from each workshop. I am getting more and more convienced that grassroots comics has equal importance at every part of the globe. Since individual expression and voices hardly get due attention in mainstream media, alternative media is the answer !! Here are another set of stories from 1st workshop at Leeds, now rushing to second one.”
– SHARAD SHARMA(16june 2014)
Once again Grassroots Comics has unraveled the heinous effects of child marriages.
World Comics India has taken various Grassroots comics workshops on women issues. Once again these issues were brought into light , this time in Vatwa, Gujarat where the major issue of Child Marriage and the problems this social evil has brought, in lives of those girls who were trapped in it ,were highlighted. Comics trainer’s Sheena, Chirag, Shefali, Rashmi, Meehaj in collaboration with organization Himmat conducted this 3 day workshop in Vatwa, Gujarat from 7th to 9th June.
These girl participants were married at the adolescent age of 13-14. Adolescence is the journey of human life in which the body experiences transcendence; it is tough to understand one’s own self and body .In this tender age of complexities these girls were put into marriage overburdening them with the marital responsibilities. They couldn’t manage the burden and had to face both physical and verbal abuse at the hand of their in-laws.
Standing now at the verge of divorce this group made all 25 comics on their issues and problem they have faced. The trainer assured that these stories were not molded or altered in any form to keep them pure and innocent.
These participants were afraid initially to even write name on their comics but interestingly the final outcome filled them with zeal and at the end they not only wrote their names but also stood beside their comics when they were displayed for exhibition.
Their family members too came to see the exhibition .these open ended comics helped these girls to question both their families and the societal norms which drained them into the present situation of their lives. This is the magic of grassroots comics very simply it portrays even the most stark issues . It gives voice and medium of expression especially to the unheard voices like those of these girls. The first exhibition was so impactful that it gave way to another exhibition. These girls got to display 2nd exhibition of their comics in another institution.
These girls belong to the families who migrated to Vatva after Ahmadabad 2002 riots. These comics became harbinger of their experiences. The organization and the trainee are also looking forward to organize more such workshops with them and children of Vatwa to trace both their and the place’s history.
World Comics Network through Grassroots comics has unleashed two most important and integral facets of human life –media and religion. This workshop was organized in Karachi by World Comics Network-Pakistan, in collaboration with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan(HRCP). Conducted by trainer Azmeena Alidina this workshop opened doors to a new medium, for acknowledging people’s opinion, not only for the NGO workers who participated but also for participants who were professional media people.
It’s human tendency to associate one’s identity with one’s religion. However the human life in today’s arena is surrounded to and fro by media. It wouldn’t be wrong if we say that media has become part and parcel of human life. Thus it also shapes our perceptions and presumptions about religion, not only just ours but also that of others. All these participants belonging to different religion and different age group, interestingly ranging from 8 to 60 actively engaged themselves with this topic. This became more evident when they reflected their views distinctly on the topic during the orientation by a very senior journalist of Pakistan, Ghazi Salahuddin.
All the participants had different opinion. Some supported media giving examples of how it has been of use to them. The others presented a complete contradictory view tagging media as being biased and posing news without actually getting into the skin of reality. Most of the time people are too busy to explore the different sides of any incident and whatever media posits becomes reality for them. Thus media’s negligence in exploring the true nature of reality tends to hamper the perception of people especially in issues as sensitive as religion. Through different comics came up these perceptions.
All the participants were so excited that they decided upon to use the medium more and more in their organizations work. Sir John, one of the participants, cherished this art so much that even after having a fractured hand he drew his comics from one hand and actively participated in each session. All participants, was it the 8 year old child or the 60 year old aged participant drew their ideas through this simple and interesting art of comics making and came over their inhibition of both drawing and expressing their ideas freely .
This workshop was conducted in a political volatile situation in Pakistan. However the efforts of our comics trainer Azmeena and the HRCP team bore fruit in the end when all the comics came out successfully. HRCP is also planning to form an anthology of these comics very soon.
Satish Kumar- a rickshaw puller –eloped from home in his tender teen years but even after a decade the memory of reason for eloping and pain and frustration associated with it remains fresh. Satish wanted to study but given the disturbances at home was unable to do so, on his request his father agreed to send him to a boarding school but a neighbor statement turned things otherwise. “YAHAN TO PADHTA NAHI HOSTEL JAKAR AUR BIGAD JAYEGA” The exact wordings of that neighbor still remains embedded on his mind.
Satish left home thinking he would earn his education however in the glimmer of city all his dreams were lost. Like Satish there are many CITY MAKERS who come to city with dreams which are never fulfilled. City Makes are the people like street vendors; rickshaw pullers etc who left homes in search of a better job and lives and migrated to the cities where all their aspirations failed and they were succumbed to a life of drudgery. Every day they face exploitation in various forms. Either they are troubled by police due to lack of identity cards or they face the problem of their money being stolen as they do not have bank accounts.
CityMakers are the building blocks of every city. They are everywhere around us but we being too busy in our own lives fail to notice them and their problems. IGSSS and World Comics India has started the grassroots comic’s campaign where all over India various workshops have been conducted with CityMakers.
The motive behind the workshops has been to provide a tool of communication and self-expression to these people who are the backbone of the city. Through these workshop first hand experiences of CityMakers are documented in forms of comics.Till now 4 workshops have been conducted in Delhi at Chabiganj Shelter Home, Kashmere Gate. Now the shelter home too has become a hub of experiences and emotions shared by people in different workshops. It now provides an ambiance of connectivity.
.Satish’s story was presented in the latest i.e. the 5th workshop held at Chabiganj Shelter Home from 24th to 27th March 2014.
Though participants were hesitant initially they soon gained confidence with trainer’s encouragement which further increased when they were shown films on grass root comics campaign as it helped them to understand how this powerful medium can be used by them. The idea of learning something new and creative filled them with zeal and on the second day they reached the venue before time They said that previous day sessions were so interesting that whole night they were thinking about it and wanted to reach at venue as early as possible.
They were astonished with the end results thinking about the first day when they were not confident to draw single lines and thought only children can draw. In the review session too they were able to analyze each other’s story very creatively and were able to connect with each other. They were proud of their final work and very cheerfully posed in front of camera.