The first storytellers that children have are usually their grandparents. With this in mind, city-based non-profit organisation Comet Media Foundation (they distribute media that fosters education, social change and sustainability) have organised a children’s storybook-making workshop, titled Nani-nana-nama.
Animation filmmaker Nina Sabnani, writer Merle Almeida and filmmaker Chandita Mukherjee will conduct the creative workshop. Children and grandparents (either their own or the senior citizens at the workshop) will be paired to bring out the universal nature of family stories that will result in a storybook. The children participating will also get a copy of My Godri Anthology, a new book by Merle and Nina about family memory.
Speaking about the event, Vidya Iyer, workshop and programme co-ordinator, says, “All grandparents or older persons have fascinating stories to tell. Such stories are an exciting part of our history (and more interesting than date-filled history books at school); they add colour and life to community memory.”
She adds that the catalyst for the workshop was the book My Godri Anthology where a patchwork quilt triggers a flashback, prompting a young girl to recall bits and pieces of her grandmother’s life.
“With the help of the resource persons at the workshop, the child will try to gather knowledge about the older person’s experiences and draw a mind-map. This will help the child know more about the life and times of an earlier generation which will lead to the making of a sampler or so. It would be a good beginning which the two of them could develop later at home,” adds Iyer.
Speaking about the importance of storytelling, Iyer states that it has been a basic aspect of all human culture right from ancient times. “It has served to entertain and communicate information as well as to convey values and attitudes.” She further reasons that despite today’s kids growing up with PlayStations rather than storybooks, this workshop will interest them. “Such games may work up the adrenaline rush but they remove the social interplay that is so essential to growing up, living and working with others,” she concludes.
The Dr Bhau Daji Lad museum is conducting a host of workshops in May. It will include sessions on pottery, Ragamala painting, silver foil art, curating, creating personalised memory maps and making puppets to create a narrative about the city.
From May 3 to 31 every Friday, 11.30 am to 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm
At Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla.
Log on to www.bdlmuseum.org
Prior registration is essential.
On May 4, 10 am to 2 pm
At Comet Media Foundation, 301 Meher House, 15 Cawasji Patel Street, Fort.
Cost Rs 1,200 for two partners, one of age 10-14 years, and the other, for an older person