Animation by Sekhar Mukherjee

Chitrakatha saw even more excitement and enthusiasm on the second day. With more talks by people from different kinds of backgrounds, the whole day was very insightful. There were again a lot of familiar faces to see and hear from – our seniors, faculties and even our fellow students.

Our team working behind the scenes seemed to be getting comfortable with the medium, the streaming went smoothly. With buses shuttling between IJM and college, food being served at the campus, people are settling down and working from the college campus.

People are coming together through screens, and there is love in the air. We look forward to tomorrow as the festival takes flight and ascends higher with jam packed events, and exciting guests!

Second Round of Faculty Speaks

More NID AP faculties gave presentations today, showcasing their work. Amaltas talked about materials – how they can be used, how they put value in the products. With a few examples, he explained how products can go beyond their functionality, and how the right choice of materials can increase the value of the product, reduce the exploitation of resources, and hence can be manufactured locally and in a sustainable way. He then presented the project he worked on putting these ideas into practice. With scrap plastic from waste chips wrappers, he worked on an umbrella. For the visuals of it, he explored tessellations before fixing on thin strips of the plastic put together, which was the most efficient way of doing it.

Kurma took us back to his college days, where he studied fine arts. He explained his journey of understanding forms, light and shadow, contrast and more, and afterwards presented his artworks made throughout the years. He explained how the artworks he makes represents his  emotions and feelings.

Andrea Noronha started the presentation by showing her projects done on furniture design. She mentions how she loves to work with artisans, and how their interactions end up making the outcome beautiful-  she showed us how she experimented around different materials, exploring the tangible nature of objects, and how she moved on from working at smaller crafts segments to working at bigger production. Further in her presentation, she showed us her love for geometry and how she had taken the concept of geometry towards other mediums, like crochet,  which she saw her mother and grandmother make while she was back at home, and she also showed us other things she indulges in like ATC (artist trading cards). Andrea believes any discipline can’t be reduced into one entity, and humans should be more than being uni-dimensional.

New Normal Toys, Trisha Banerjee

Trisha Banerjee went from being a senior research biologist to a filmmaker at SRFTI. She currently works for Butterfly Edufields where they create toys like TinkL Art @ Home that stimulate the brain and help kids decrease their screen time, while teaching them important concepts such as gravity, magnetism, light, vacuum and air pressure. They interacted with the kids through live sessions, and employees even gave the toys to their own children to take their reactions. 

Before COVID, their clients were largely schools who ordered toys to provide to their children, but during the pandemic and lockdown the company had to rework their systems to be able to provide their products on online services such as FlipKart and Amazon, so that the products can be ordered by people anywhere in the world.  She brings her expertise in visuals to help make the products appealing to customers on the basis of demographic differences while remaining true to the brand and its purpose.

Waste No Waste, Pragati Singhal

Pragati Singhal is an NID Alumnus, who shared her Graduation Project- setting up India’s first ever design incubation centre for GI crafts. Her idea for her GP was born from learning about sustainability in a more contextual way rather than the definition of it. One of the most daunting tasks was to find a nodal point of intervention. She chose Tirumala temple, Tirupati, TN, as her point of intervention because temples are a place where people have sentiments attached to them and they could be there at their most vulnerable moments. 

During the time she spent at the temple, she noticed that the prasad was being distributed in a polythene, which generated an alarming amount of non-biodegradable waste.

Knowing all this, she proceeded to repeat and discard a variety of material combinations. She also talked about ‘The Innovation Paradox’, which focused on the statement “parallel innovations are not competitions”, and that we cannot aim for a sustainable world if we keep aiming for a sustainable world- that if it doesn’t bring upon a psychological change. Towards the end of the session, she expressed her initial fears about plagiarism and further realised that ideas which are yours, could never be plagiarized, and ended her session with the statement- “be a part instead of being a whole”.

A journey of a visual storyteller from a fool's paradise

Priyankar Gupta is a visual storyteller, and a Chitrakatha OG. Having taught numerous batches at NID AP, students were quite excited, and looking forward to his talk. The talk was named- No day without a scratch: A journey of a visual storyteller from a fool’s paradise, in which he talked about the practice of drawing, which is always encouraged at NID, and his journey of going out in the industry, and illustrating for various clients.

Starting his NID education in 2002, he recalls learning from Sekhar and other faculties, to think before drawing; putting context to the content is just as important, if not more, than the piece of work itself. The last time Priyankar had a talk in Chitrakatha, it was during the very beginnings of the festival, when Priyankar was a ‘struggler’ back then, as he refers to himself. Now after working for almost 15 years in the industry, he has a platter full of work, and experiences to share with us.

Priyankar guided us through his journey illustrating, freelancing in the industry. The first job he did was for the economic times, drawing political cartoons. Even with this job offering a good pay package, and even greater food, the thing which was missing was cinema and storytelling.

Subsequently, he shifted to working on TV ads for MTV, airtel and more. After a bit of dabbling with it, he went on to illustrate a couple of books for scholastic and penguin, and eventually, finally found opportunities working on his passion which is storyboarding and pre-visualisation.

Priyankar took us through the numerous national and international projects he has worked on- illustrating a number of book covers, textbook illustrations, working on storyboards for many brands and movies. He has worked on a children’s book which has been translated into 17 languages. A project which he was specifically proud of was a book written in Tamizh, as it was the first vernacular language book he has worked on.

Finally, he showed recent works which he has done on social issues, after realising the impact of art on society and that art is always political. The session ended with many students, budding illustrators showering him with their questions about the industry and art styles, for which he had a firm opinion that he does not have a specific art style and doesn’t plan to have one. He likes the fluidity and freedom art provides and lives by the motto- a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Campus Stories

Chitrakatha sees all it’s volunteers running up and down the corridors with files, half empty coffee cups or maggie plates. There are feet stomping in frustrations, walking hesitantly towards angry team leads, or some even dancing to the rhythm of some faint music. Amidst all this chaos at nearly every corner of this building, we now have some sleeping peacefully, resting their heads on the classic pillows of all time, the folded hands.

Late night streaming, buses running here and there from and to the college, people wearing the same clothes as yesterday just gives a testimonial to the fact that our students, wherever they might be, will always be ready to push their limits when so much is at stake. All these sleepy heads know that they will soon be woken up and assigned some other tasks. But the beauty of it lies in the fact that they get up, shoulder the task and work on it with the same energy as before.

(Tejas and Shrishti in their work mode)

Social Issues we should think about!

Led by Dr. Toshinaro Longchar, the topic of alienation of the north-east from the rest of India was talked about. A rigid dichotomy has informed attitudes, that when paired with existing prejudice and unfair media portrayal using biased imagery and narratives has caused a divide between the region and the country to which it geographically belongs. She spoke of conflict and how it exists at all stages of society. She also believes that of any conflict two possible outcomes may be born. Either it can lead to violence and unrest or it can lead to constructive change and transformation. For this, it is important to educate the masses to look beyond personal interest and instead look to create change in a way of societal betterment.

The Pine Project was born, looking to engage civil society and academia,an initiative that is aimed towards developing a locally informed and globally relevant peace education curriculum for undergraduates in Manipur and Nagaland states. Dr Deben Bachaspatimayum continued the presentation and talked about how in the world we live in today, technology is taking away human jobs. 

As a community, there is an increasing need to break away from the current response to destructive process of development trajectory and instead look at building a shared community that strives towards community interest. He spoke about how as a society we haven’t looked enough at the causes of violence and the root of it. The only way to counter the same is through education and awareness. 

Peace education provides theoretical models, methods and tools to understanding the root causes of violent conflicts and help design and conduct transformation theoretical models. They propose a scenario where each state writes a mandate to design a curriculum according to the culture and needs of that state. 

The goal of the initiative is to set up higher education institutions in Manipur and Nagaland offer locally informed and globally relevant peace education courses as part of the undergraduate programs by the academic session 2022-23. Through the initiative so far they identified the sources of violence and conflict as well as people’s ideas of peace. They have developed relevant theoretical frameworks that include problem solving workshops, a feminist approach to peace building and educational strategies for developing societies. 

Beast of Internet, Experimental Animation

After a talk got cancelled at the last minute, the space was filled by 4th year Communication Design students of NID AP,  with screenings of the movies they had made for their International Exchange program. 

These were 2 minute long experimental animation films, made during the course of 3 months, in groups of 5 – 6 students. The students talked about their films, the concept behind it, their experience regarding the process of going about it.

Alumni Under Spotlight

Shreya TS, an NID AP graduate gave a talk on her graduate project. It is an animation short film named – ‘The tale of the pink bubble’. She went over how this concept was developed and the whole process behind animating this film.

Ajay prasad, another graduate of NID AP, in his talk – ‘journey from fibre to paper’ talked about his experiences with paper making. From the kind of fibres used, to the dyeing techniques, he gave us an extensive account of how it’s done. 

The Project SEWA

Shruchi, NID AP graduate, talked about her experience about working on developing an online learning infographic module for the betterment of women who are working with SEWA. She had been working with a wing of SEWA known as IASEW, where she with the mentoring of Prof. Sudhanya Dasgupta and her batchmates Tushar, Janani, Disha, Aayush and Anagha worked as a team on an online learning module from scratch talking and teaching about the betterment of the women in Gujarat which SEWA looks after. She also talked about how they almost took more than a month to collect data about Gujarati culture so when they represent that in a module, it should make relevant sense so that women could relate with it.

She also talked about the process behind making a mascot named Kamla Ben who is a key element in the module as she is a narrator explaining all the infographics. All of this was done by the team sitting from home with the help of online mode of communication which was a really impressive challenge they overcame. The team had a really big task of making the learning material in Gujarati language, which in the team only Shruchi and Prof. Sudhanya Dasgupta knew and helped their team in translating the Gujarati content in English so that the team could create the exact meaning of what was to be conveyed. Janani, a team member, showed us more about the platform named MOOKIT where the current module is airing on and showed how they learned about all the features of the platform and incorporated them with the module.

Textile in Corona Times

There was another talk by Rudranil Das, a textile designer from NID Ahmedabad. He talked about the textile industry in India and how it works, how it is a primitive way of life, where the people work very hard with very little returns. He shed light on how the textile industry, and the weavers are struggling as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Design Cafe - Having chai with students of AUB

Design cafe, an event hosted by Disha, Anushree, and Deepak, was a conversation with the students of AUB – Arts University Bournemouth. Three of their students presented their animation and illustration work, all of which were very different from each other, having a unique identity to them. 

Gabriele worked with 3d animation. Miles’ art was mostly illustration. He also showed a few of his animations, which also had influences, and an approach unique to an illustrator. And lastly, Joao, with his surreal, abstract animations ended the event.

The chat box was flooding with words of appreciation for the students’ work. The hour went by in the blink of an eye.

Sunset Singer, KHM Master Project

Jessica Poon, LA-based animation director from Hong Kong. Passionate about humanity, interpersonal relations and political philosophy, she presented her master project, Sunset Singers, a fictional commentary on the parallel lives of Hong Kong’s individuals. She began by mentioning that started the film in 2018, and that she likes to work on multimedia projects that have elements of documentary in them along with animation. Interested in recording people talking, and different soundscapes, she expressed her keenness in capturing memories in the form of audios.

In 2019, she visited Hong Kong during which, a major protest was going on throughout the whole country which made her feel as if the protest had changed people and turned everything around, disrupting the routines of singing and dancing for the old retired folks that were her target group. She pointed out that before the protests took place, the old people used to sing iconic cantonese songs, mostly from the 80s, and they enjoyed it however cheesy they would sound because music is the easiest way to channel your emotions. She noticed how the situation before and after the protest were two starkly different worlds. The subjects of her film talk about their changing lives, protests and the songs they were forbidden to sing anymore. She recorded the songs herself since she found it impractical to use the original older songs, along with the help of a few friends and locals. She also expressed her fears about second-guessing her decisions due to the controversial topic that she had chosen as a topic for her project but went along with it eventually.

What's Up Radiowada!

For the first segment of the day, Chatney featured Aaryama Somayaji who is a student of the first batch of the college, she talked about how her current work environment and interest is right now, how she enjoys her work. She talked about her initial NID days, the highs and the lows and in the end she advised listeners that it’s all working with sheer commitment and with interest is all anyone needs to succeed and your efforts are not gonna betray you.

Second segment, the last act of the day. It was an almost an hour long energetic Mixtape by the people from El Palmeral studios, where there were fascinating soundscapes and beats made with different kinds of sounds. All the members of El Palmeral gave their thoughts on what they think of Chitrakatha and what is the first thing they understand by Everything animated. It was in Spanish and English mixed. They took us through different Dreamworlds, Movieworlds, Literatures, And through Ibiza by the help of different and wonderful music, it ended with couples of Moos and a beautiful choir.

We are accepting your submissions to be featured on our next Chitkhabri


Ashrita, Abhishek M, Anantha, Dwit, Kritika, Meenakshi, Namrata, Rati, Shruti Sudha, Simran, Sindhuja S, Vyom

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