The art of crafting stories – panel discussion on graphic narratives2 min read
MANIPAL: Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH) hosted a panel discussion on ‘Graphic Narrative and (Auto)biography’, mainly its form and craft at the Gangubai Hangal Auditorium on February 18, 2019.
The panellists were illustrators Priya Kuriyan and Dr. Nicola Streeten, and the co-founder of Studio Kokaachi, Tina Thomas. The moderator for the discussion was E. Dawson Varughese, a Senior Fellow at MCH.
The panellists spoke about the application of graphic narratives in telling personal stories, histories, and autobiographies. Having worked on graphic narrative biographies themselves, they gave a sharp insight on the new elements offered by text-image interface of these graphic narratives in biography. “Comics and the image form have this power, they hit you right in the gut,” said Dr. Nicola Streeten who wrote a graphic narrative novel on the death of her two-year-old son. “Creating an atmosphere cannot be done by words alone. But images, they immediately make you feel,” added Priya Kurian, who came with the graphic narrative biographies of her own grandmother and Indira Gandhi.
The talk witnessed a small but enthusiastic audience who were keen on the subject of graphic narratives. Discussions on feminism, gender balance in the industry, and its development in India came up in their interaction with the audience. As an excerpt from their interaction, Priya Kurian and Tina Thomas noted that a change should be brought about in the mentality and characterisation of graphics in India. They explained the concept a little more briefly by saying, “Basically, bringing in more coloured faces and making settings Indian along with the rise of young adult comics can change the face of graphic narratives in India.”
“Women coming together as a collective with graphics as a medium to balance and neutralise the industry has been very useful in the UK,” said Dr. Nicola who co-founded a group called Laydeez do Comics, a women-led platform for women illustrators.
“The idea behind such a discussion is to inspire all your young minds to bring out your creative side and explore graphic narratives,” said E Dawson Varughese, the organiser of the talk, before she concluded the event.
Featured Image Courtesy: Annwesha Shyam
Edited by: Karthika Venugopal