Comic experiences

Jun 23, 2013, 10:54 IST | Punam Chavan

The Indian Foundation for the Arts (IFA) will hold storytelling sessions by graphic storyteller Vidhyun Sabhaney at Kitab Khana and Godrej Culture Lab

The India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) does a lot of good work through the year to promote and support the cause of arts in India. But this one’s a bit different. The IFA is hosting a storytelling session in the city where attendees will learn about the creative process that went into the making of comic strip Chilka, and also the recent developments Indian storytelling has undergone.

Chilka is a comic strip developed by Vidhyun Sabhaney and her Japanese partner, Shohei Emura, and is a part of Pao Anthology published by Penguin publications. It revolves around imaginary characters from the time of the Mahabharata.

So what is going to happen at the session, we ask Sabhaney. “I will talk about the creative process that went into the making of Chilka. We have humorously experimented with what could have happened in the war, what the Mahabharata tells us, and also, what it doesn’t. It is the story of a character called Baba, a forgetful warrior who lives in the time of the Pandavas and is obsessed with the idea of being a hero. It will be a graphical narration with images from the comics and our experiences,” says Sabhaney.

She will address the audience at Godrej Culture Lab and Kitab Khana where she will speak about the recent developments in storytelling.

“I will talk about Togalu Gombeyatta, a storytelling art from Karnataka which involves leather puppetry with story narration, Patua Chitra from Bengal where paper scroll is used to display images and narration is done by singing and Kaavad from Rajasthan, where a small wooden temple consists of images painted over it and stories narrated in the form of chantings,” she explains.

This is the first time IFA has organised such an event to boost this unique art of storytelling. The foundation gave Sabhaney a grant to study three picture-based folk performance traditions with the aim of identifying sequential visual story-telling techniques that will extend and enrich the practice of her as a comic book artist. “We will organise 15 more events this year where we hope to encourage people to come up with such new ideas,” explains Arundhati Ghosh, executive director, IFA.

When: 5.45 pm onwards, June 27
Where: Somaiya Bhavan, Ground Floor, Flora Fountain, Fort
Call: 2288 8041
When: 5 pm onwards, June 28
Where: Godrej Culture Lab, Auditorium, Gate 2, Godrej Industries, (Entry from Eastern Express Highway), Vikhroli (E).
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