Sketches for Women’s Street Theater Archive

I’m working with a researcher on a project with the India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore to archive experiences of women who’ve participated in street theater movements in Delhi. As the interviews role between researcher and theater person, and they recall what it felt like, during the 1980s, to participate in this radical movement raising a lot of key women’s issues, I try and sketch out snippets! Here’s one from an interview with one of the most inspiring women I know – Shanti.

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Its a cold winter afternoon, we drink tea, eat pakodas and Shanti masi talks of how she joined the street theater groups as a young activist, going into the bussiest parts of Delhi, performing dowry death scenes in the middle of large crowds. She is animated but also nostalgic. She says that the kind of strength she found in women in those groups is impossible to see now! I sketch on an A5 sketchbook with black pens. These will develop into a graphic novel format to go along with longer interviews of the activists.


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