Over sixty years of independence have done little to diminish the interest and engagement with the division of the Indian subcontinent into two and then three sovereign independent states. Mapmaking, exodus, memories and curiosity have become a permanent part of the lives of its citizens on all sides of the various borders.
For over three generations now, the most definitive formative moment in modern South Asian history, Partition, has remained an area of constant engagement for scholars, artists, journalists and commentators manifesting their explorations through academic research, reportage and most importantly creative encounters through art, literature and films. However, this cross-border engagement, like cross-border migration, has not ended with a generation or two. It is an ongoing exercise.
More acutely so in the case of Partition, as the current generation of young scholars, activists, artists, media persons and creative professionals who did not live through this epoch-making event, are still struggling with facts and figures, exploring the socio-political imperatives, identifying commons, trying to make sense of the memories and images, attempting to piece together the consequences, in an effort to come to terms with both the tangibility of the schism and life beyond, as well as the many related events that play themselves out in sectarian rhetoric all over the subcontinent. In their own way, many across the subcontinent are seeking a space for dialogue.
In this regard, it would be important to explore this engagement of the subcontinent’s younger generation with an iconic event in a graphic narrative exploiting and experimenting with the possibilities of visual storytelling. At the same time, no one artist can comprehensively tell the story of Partition, nor can he/she hope to represent the entire gamut of responses that the memory, history and legacy of Partition evokes. For this reason, it is proposed to involve artists from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and bring together a Partition Anthology in a Comic or Graphic Novel Format.
The idea is to bring together storytellers from diverse practices and professions and explore the possibilities on the drawing board from their particular perspectives. The Partition Anthology seeks graphic narratives or comics from comic book artists, writers, artists, illustrators, film makers, theatre artists and every other storyteller across the subcontinent.
You can read all the project details here
. The deadline for sending in storylines/style sheets, etc., is 7th November 2011.