Sharad Sharma & Nida Shams have a book out, called بولتی لكیریں — and it was a delight to see it yesterday as it arrived in the post. The main language is Urdu, though a few comics are also in English.
Published under the Comics Power banner (under the World Comics Network - Pakistan), the Rs. 200 book is a collection of wonderful little page-long tales, put together by people (lots of children, too) who express things that are important to them in their lives.
Bolti Lakeerain has stories — that come 'from Kakapeer to Kashmir', as the introduction says — and is a short selection of works that were produced in the 5 year workshops.
Organizers helped the participants to start on various topics that, eventually, led to debates and further discussions on the subject. Sessions were held in cities, villages, educational institutions and, some, through help from local bodies.
Grassroots comics are inexpensive and the method is not complicated. All you need is a pen and a couple of sheets of A4 paper. Access to a photocopier for distribution is all that's really necessary.
Comics are a great way to help people say these things, since the drawings are not to be looked at as pieces of art but of communication. Of course, some of the participants will find their artistry get better as time evolves and a couple of them may even find out that this is 'their line'.
The book covers Education, Communities, Electricity, Health, Environment, Terrorism, and much more. It should be available from the next week at T2F.
Labels: Activism, Education, Literature, Politics, T2F, Urdu