The exhibit organised for India Starts with I will be held on the 26th of August at antiSOCIAL, Khar in Mumbai.
They’re a growing community of citizens who are actively involved in making this country a better place, one volunteering story at a time. And they do this by actively participating in a range of social initiatives covering a range of causes. Karmyo hopes to bring about a certain level of consciousness about an individual’s role in society.
‘We want to reinforce the idea that a better India can be built through active participation from every individual. We want to dispel the notion that volunteering will take too much of their free time.’
India Starts with I
Born out of a need to engage the masses in contributing to social change; India Starts with I is an initiative that addresses the many issues plaguing the country. ‘Our goal is to make citizens realize the importance of volunteering and the ways in which they can give back to the society. To flag-off this movement, we have planned a series of initiatives and you will see them manifest in the coming few months.’
In an attempt to make volunteerism mainstream, Karmyo directed its efforts to the artist community. In the upcoming exhibition, over fifteen different artists will showcase artwork inspired by their personal volunteering experiences with NGOs and other social organisations. Designers, film-makers, stand-up comics and musicians will be putting up some of their best work in the hopes of inspiring many others to volunteer in whatever capacity possible.
Here are 5 artists who discuss their exhibit pieces and the experiences that influenced them.
Bangalore-based graphic designer, Sneha has always wanted to help improve the agricultural sector in whatever way she can. ‘India is very dependent on the Agriculture sector and the farmers are seemed to be ignored the most.’ Taking this cause at heart, she worked alongside Kheyti- an NGO that provides end-to-end support for small farmers. Impressed by their highly efficient aid-mechanism, she built them into a fun and immersive map illustration. ‘I was inspired by the fact that an organization was helping out the most ignored section of the society in a fantastic streamlined approach that produced some great results. I aimed at showing how they are aiding the farmers, right from providing loans to helping them distribute the season's grow effectively.'
Danica Da Silva Pereira
for NAB India
For her illustrations, independent artist Danica likes to explore ideas outside the norm. Her artwork for the National Association for the Blind makes use of a similar curiosity and a refined surrealistic approach. She narrates her time working with NAB in her hometown.
‘Volunteering at NAB, Goa, I became aware that most of the general public conceive the blind to be handicapped and unable people, which they are not. Through my illustration, I want to help them spread awareness about the dreams and aspirations of the visually impaired because what touched me the most was the drive and ambition I saw in every one of their eyes. All they need is a little help and that is what we can give them.’
for Teach For India
The comic artwork made by multidisciplinary artist, Shikhant Sablania for TFI India, is a direct translation of his time conducting workshops for his students. Aptly titled Every Drawing is a Story, the workshop focused on inducing the spirit of story -telling through images and drawings. He explains how But, Why? does the same, structured as a conversation between an artist and his friend with an existential twist.
'The flow of the comics is unbounded by the panel structure, I chose this style to make the reader move across the story in which ever way he/she wants to. I hope the visitors at the exhibition relate to the art and narrative of the comics artwork.'
for Music Basti
Sudeepti’s designs are themed on music, emotions and the body- all of which are wonderfully adapted into the project she created for Music Basti- an NGO that connects at-risk children with musicians for a creative and joyful music-learning experience. Her exhibition piece is based on a song composed and written by the kids, titled Dreamland.
‘It reflects on the simple dream shared by these singing and dancing children to live in a world where joy and happiness is shared with all, where everyone has a voice and the bustling world pauses to listen to their message of peace.’
for Rally for Rivers
Art director and co-founder of design studio bunXpav, Mayur Mengle communicates a strong call-to-action message for the project. Rally for Rivers is a nationwide campaign dedicated to saving the dying rivers of India. Mayur talks to us about the cause the art it inspired.
'If we wish to see our future generations not lose their humanity and wage wars for water, then we have to rejuvenate our rivers and make it perennial again. For this to happen a policy needs to be enforced at the top. The motive of my artwork is to encourage people to give a missed call to 8000980009. Every missed call is a message to the government that says 'I am rallying for rivers, so please act.'
People who wish to get involved with the movement, can do so by registering their pledges with Karmyo and receive relevant volunteering opportunities. To register your pledge, click here.
Text Shristi Singh