National Book Trust, India, an apex body of the Ministry of Human Resource Development organized a National Workshop on Developing Graphic Novels Based on North-East Folk Traditions at its premises.

The workshop was inaugurated by Shri A Sethumadhavan, noted author and Chairman of NBT. In his inaugural address he said, “Our focus on North-East is very clear. North-East is a treasure house of folktales. We want to communicate with North-East people effectively. We wish to take the graphic novels based on North-East to the outside world.” He added that,“this one day workshop is a pioneering step taken by NBT. It is a process of learning and unlearning.Though we belong to different area we want to recapture the spirit of storytelling.” He further added, “We brought out graphic novel Sri Ratna Kim Suro in Korea and was well received. This is a clear message that graphic novels have been accepted.”

The workshop was divided into three sessions viz. First Observations, moderated by Shri SanjoyHazarika, Director, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Readings and Discussions on Selected Folk Tales, moderated by Dr K B VeioPou, Asst. Professor, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi and Artists’ Approach to the Stories Read and Discussed in the Context of Developing Graphic Novels, moderated by ShrSuddhasattawaBasu, eminent illustrator.

Earlier, Dr M A Sikandar, Director welcomed the guests and appreciated the cooperation shown by the participants of the workshop. He said that, “Although NBT has been doing many multiple activities for past many decades, we had long lasting urge to have such a workshop. We plan to bring out a set of graphic novels for New Delhi World Book Fair 2015.”

In this workshop, the speakers discussed in length about scope of using folklore of North-East for graphic novels, the various dimensions and aspects related to folktales of North-East, representing culture and tradition in graphic novels, danger of being lost in translation,  needs of the readers and North-East and cautions to be taken while representing issues related to North-East. In the workshop, the authors representing the state of North-East also read out the stories which could be considered for making graphic novels and the artists drew rough sketches based on the stories discussed.

Earlier, Shri SoumitraDasgupta, designer and filmmaker, gave a presentation on the making of a graphic novel. Shri Kumar Vikram, Editor, NBT gave a presentation on the project on behalf of NBT.

The participants in the workshop included writers and illustrators from North-East includingProf. S. Pranam Singh, Benaras Hindu University, Prof. Desmond L Kharmawphlang, North-Eastern Hill University, Prof. DurlabhBhattacharjee, Prof. Minakshi Sen Bandhopadhyay, Director, North East Centre for Oral Literature, Prof. NgangnomMaheshkanta Singh, University of Delhi, Dr Joy Pachuau, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Shri UtpalTalukdar, noted illustrator, Ms K Cynthia Kolakhe, freelance artist, Shri CanatoJimo, freelance artist, Shri Kasom, freelance artist, MsYisheyDoma, noted author, Shri SwapanNandy, illustrator, Shri AzukTamsang, Welfare Secretary, Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association, MsMarmitLepcha, translator, Shri P Wungnaoangam, research scholar, MsIndrim Boo, illustrator and researcher and Shri SubhashVyam, noted illustrator.


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