Preserving Culture Through Art
Students from UPES School of Design supported a local NGO, Kahaani, to transmute local folklore into art, using the walls of village hamlets as their canvas.
Tauli Bhud home to the Jaunsari community in Uttrakhand has a strong oral tradition but no script. This caught our attention and led us to the beautiful idea on which Kahaani is based. The threat of migration of the youth is not only affecting the economical aspect of villages, but also damaging the emotional thread attached to it. Youth migrating towards the urban sector leaves no space for the cultural experiences and history to get inherited in the town. These experiences can only be passed through generations by verbal communication such as the cultural stories of Tauli Bhud village. Kahaani is an initiative taken in the direction of establishing history of such villages not through words but through art.
Tauli bhud ki kahaani
The project was organised by an NGO called Kahaani, headed by Nupur Aggarwal. The vision was to narrate some famous tales to the villagers through the walls of their hamlets with an aim to turn the whole village into a place of culture and art. Each wall depicts a unique story illustrated by many young designers who had volunteered to be a part of this project. This opportunity was given by our own faculty, Prasun Chakraborty. The team comprised Joe Joseph Francis, Tanmay Menon, Anand Harilal, Anand Menon, Kevin Mathew, Tom Daniel and Deepak Madhav.
Our team stayed there for about a week and met several designers from different places. One of the most appreciated art pieces was a palki painted around the window, which signified that the owner’s wife would come and sit near the window for hours.
We used colours blended with soil so that it doesn’t seem out of place but looks as a part of the village. We also utilized the edge of the wall to depict the transformation of Ashoka from a warrior to a Buddhist. Pradhan narrated us the story and we painted the whole piece that very moment. The wall we got was rough and it was a little difficult to paint on it but in the end it was appreciated by one and all.
Being a part of such an initiative gave us an opportunity to connect and learn with a diverse group of people.