An anthology of tales from Dharavi
A collection of 43 tales made by Dharavi residents covering various themes like health, nutrition, relationships and sexuality, mental health, injuries and gender based violence. Created by first time comic creators in four artboxes spread across two years, this black and white anthology is a collection of experiences and memories of growing up in Dharavi.
Comics Epidemic was presented at Comics and Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health, an international workshop hosted by Graphic Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, 26th – 28th June, 2014.
Youngsters view the ‘Comics Epidemic’ anthology outside Shama Building. Image copyright Ilana Milner
The Dharavi Biennale
Dharavi has been experiencing an epidemic of a new kind. Comics about local nutrition, sanitation and health issues have been appearing on the walls. The fuss-free comics were drawn by young and old residents, for whom this was their first encounter with the medium. During intensive sessions about the graphic format (expressions, postures, dialogues, frames), participants developed narratives based on their own experiences. Each presented at least one black and white comic and care was taken to improve skills without losing personal style. Looking at the results, it was hard to imagine that few knew much about comics and fewer had read them.
Read more on the Dharavi Biennale website
Review in The Comics Journal
Go to a bookstore in Mumbai and you will find many portraits of Dharavi and its people. They usually focus on adults from different regions working in different trades. Yet there is nothing, to my knowledge, on Dharavi’s youth, whose lives in most cases are a far cry from the street urchin image popularized in film. I am in no position to judge Comics Epidemic as a “development communications tool.” But I can say that it has provided me a glimpse into the present-tense of life in Dharavi from a perspective that I have not come across in the standard articles and books.
– Ryan Holmberg in his review of the Comics Epidemic for The Comics Journal Read the full review here
Meet the Authors
Nayreen Daruwalla . David Osrin
Health experts and social scientists
Dr. Hemal Shroff . Sarika Salunkhe . Dr. Vineet Kumar . Pradeep Pawar .
Sumit Pawar . Dr. Anil More . Sneha Kupekar . Reshma Jagtap
Dipesh Thakker . Sitaram Kharat
Benita Fernando . Glyn Alcock
The Priya’s Shakti ARTbox
Ram Devineni . Tushar Prakash
Mozilla Foundation’s Maker Party, Nashik chapter
Omkar Walimbe . Mayur Patil . Vishal Chavan