Panel Discussion on ‘Different Tales’, Anveshi’s Series of Children’s Books: Hyderabad
Time: 2-5 PM
Date: Thursday, 04 March 2010
Venue: Conference Hall, EFL University
Panelists and topics:
Prof. Susie Tharu (Scholar in Residence, Dept. of Cultural Studies, EFL University): Why Different Tales? An overview of the project
Prof. D. Vasanta (Dept. of Linguistics at Osmania University): Narrative account of the project
Dr. Deepa Srinivas (Coordinator of the stories project; worked as a Fellow at Anveshi): Re-thinking Children’s Literature
Shyamala (Fellow, Anveshi and a well-known Dalit Feminist writer): Context in which I wrote the stories
Dr. Deeptha Achar (Reader, Dept. of English Literature, MS University of Baroda): Imaging Children, Imagining Children’s Books
Different Tales is an attempt by Anveshi, Hyderabad, to develop stories for children that expand the scope of our democracy with new characters, new settings, new conflicts and dilemmas and levels of dissent, as well as unexpected sources of enjoyment and strength. The stories engage questions of marginalization–along the axes of gender, caste, minority, region, disability by bringing the everyday worlds of people from such groups into the mainstream of children’s reading. The narratives pull critically away from the normative idea of childhood even as they affirm the variegated lives of different children. Most importantly, they propose a concept of education that centres ideas of teaching conflict. Several of the writers draw on their own childhoods to depict different ways of growing up in an often hostile world. The artwork, done by a group of distinguished artists from Baroda, extends these issues into the field of visual representation and provides parallel experiences of looking, seeing and thinking. It breaks with the idea of illustration as an ornamentation of the text as the artists explore a diversity of painterly languages and idioms to develop the propositions made in the series.
The books can be found here.