Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comics Reporting on Development

The word development is often used synonymously with evolution, growth or advancement. Whatever else it may connote, development is a magic word for the politicians but a rather tricky one for the common man.

Over the last many years we have trained a multitude of people as trainers and professional comics’ artists. Four years ago, I decided to collect stories of how the common people of India perceive development; what it actually means to them, or if at all it has any significance for them. Initially I had thought that within a couple of months I would be able to collect all the stories, but it took me four years to do this. The biggest challenge I faced was of converting these stories into the visual form.

These stories collected from Jharkhand, Assam, Kashmir, Rajasthan and many other parts of the country present a reflection of the ‘accomplishments’ of development there. Be it the story of the fisherman from Assam or the helpless woman from Kashmir; the deleterious effects of tourism in Goa or the consequences of Uranium mining in Jaduguda; the tale of the Kolkata tram or the tribals of Jharkhand, we have endeavored to portray the picture as 

realistically as possible.

World Comics gave a voice to the common people who in turn beautifully presented their understanding of development through humour, wit and satire in these comics. This is a unique anthology in the sense that these comics are not drawn by professional artists but social activists and students from the fields of mass communication and social work.

They are Comics Journalists!

Sharad Sharma

Founder, World Comics India