An art workshop entitled “Creative Expressions of Adolescent Girls on Peace & Justice” was co- organised by Women’s Research and Action Group and Vacha Trust on 15th December, 2012.
Thirty one adolescent girls, between the ages of 12 and 15 took part in the process. To begin with they were given a brief overview of the changing face of Bombay following the communal tension of 1992-1993. A short discussion with them ensued on the manifestations of divisiveness in the Mumbai of today where regional and linguistic differences have also engendered feelings of animosity.
The girls were then encouraged to express their thoughts on the matter through their drawings under the guidance of artist and art teacher, Ms Swapna Roy Chatterjee. To contextualise the art workshop a little they were also informed of the idea of “Why Remember?” in general, and told of how they were contributing in their own way to a much larger undertaking, and how their work was going to be used as part of a broader program aimed at understanding and encouraging secularism. After about two hours of drawing, we broke for lunch and then followed with a two hour session for painting the drawings.
The response we got was overwhelming. Many students came up with innovative ideas of how they wanted their city to look like. They were mostly confident, and willing to discuss their ideas with the teacher to develop their work although some girls needed a little prompting. Towards the end, all of them were able to write a few sentences connecting their drawing to the discussion we had conducted in the morning. All in all, it was an enjoyable experience for the participants as well as organisers.