After an intense workshop in January, followed by an event at Studio 21 to clarify our thoughts and understand the ways in which we can move forward, we conducted the second round of workshops at the Oriental Seminary School in March. The students continued to work in three groups- jatra, printmaking and local histories. This time they used the skills in art making they had learnt at the first workshop to begin to express local stories.
Rajasee, Nilanjan and Purnaa's printmaking group learnt about different forms of graphic representation- pictograms, maps and illustrations, and created a series of visuals to depict important spaces within their school.
The jatra group, ventured out into the neighborhood and explored the narrative elements of a jatra script- titles, themes, character design, narrative structure etc. through scripts and posters collected from jatra producers in the locality. They then developed their own jatra stories and visualized posters for the same.
Avijna, Manas and Rajdip extended the idea of documenting local naratives to include mapping as an important part of the process. Using Google Maps, as well as by conducting strolls and drawing sessions in the neighborhood, the students documented important cultural spaces.
In the next phase of our project we will start venturing out to develop small interventions or events with the students at public spaces. We will work over the next month to develop an active engagement with local community members who will now join us as key collaborators as we step beyond the boundaries of the school.
We are a Kolkata based non-profit dedicated to promoting civic engagement through participatory art projects.