Small Men and the Big World | November 3, 2012 | Mumbai

Gokul TG Subhendu Dasgupta 'Small men and the big world'

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in association with the Mohile Parikh Center (MPC) present

Small Men and the Big World: Comic Art as Social Commentary
(The title is the literal translation of Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum,
the name of a comic strip in Malayalam by renowned filmmaker G Aravindan.)

A discussion of the work done by IFA grantees Subhendu Dasgupta and Gokul Gopalakrishnan, moderated by cultural critic and author Girish Shahane, on the evolution of vernacular comic art in India between the 1950’s and 1970’s and its role in shaping socio-political discourse.

Date: November 3
Time: 6.30pm to 8pm
Venue: Studio X, 4th Floor, Kitab Mahal, 192, Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Fort, Mumbai

Seating on first come first serve basis. For queries contact Jigna Padhiar at or call +91 9619842954.
Please join us for refreshments at 6pm.

Subhendu is a former faculty member of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Calcutta. He has also served as Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. An avid collector of cartoons, Subhendu received two grants from IFA to chronicle the evolution of cartoons in Bengal, and publish a book about his findings. Through his research he has collected and studied over a thousand cartoon strips published in Bengal between 1874 and 2009, painstakingly gathered from libraries in West Bengal and Dhaka from more than 45 newspapers, periodicals and special issue journals. Cartoons as a form of creative expression have been given only passing attention in Indian art discourse and Indian historiography, which is what, makes Subhendu’s work so critical.

Gokul is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Thrissur, Kerala. He has drawn short graphic narratives that have appeared in various publications including the Comix India Anthology, Kindle magazine, Fountain Ink magazine, the Pyrta journal and Live Mint, among others and has a weekly column titled Small Talk Yard in the New Indian Express. In 2009 Gokul received a grant from IFA to research and document comic strips created by renowned filmmaker G Aravindan between 1961 and 1973. Aravindan's pioneering efforts in the Indian comic realm were notable for their scathing satire of politics and society in Kerala. Through his research Gokul has discovered the significance of comic art as a tool of visual anthropology, a topic that he will explore in detail at the event.

About IFA
India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is an independent, professionally-managed, philanthropic organisation based in Bangalore, which enriches the practice and knowledge of, widens public access to, and strengthens the capacities and infrastructure of the arts in India by supporting innovative projects, commissioning research and creating public platforms.
This year IFA started a new chapter in Mumbai and to celebrate our arrival we are organising a series of events, featuring our grantees, in the city. Towards this aim Prithvi Theatre, Project 88, Art India and Mohile Parikh Center (MPC) have partnered with us to host events throughout the year.
About MPC
The Mohile Parikh Center (MPC), Mumbai, founded in 1990, is an internationally renowned institution and one of the leading centers in India devoted to art and culture. For over twenty years, the MPC has offered a deeper kind of reflective learning through a combination of theoretical perspectives and practical projects presented in a wide variety of formats ranging from international conferences and lectures to more intimate workshops and study groups. By emphasizing the idea of pluralism and fostering cross-cultural exchange, the MPC has facilitated the exploration of ideas, perspectives, form, process and materials central to contemporary art and culture.
About Studio-X
The Studio-X Global Network Initiative is a global network of advanced research laboratories for exploring the future of cities launched in 2008 by Mark Wigley, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. With locations in Amman, Beijing, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro with future nodes planned in Moscow, Johannesburg & Istanbul. It is the first truly global network for real-time exchange of projects, people, and ideas between regional leadership cities in which the best minds from Columbia University can think together with the best minds in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia.