Comics Epidemic:

An anthology of tales from Dharavi

A collection of 43 tales made by Dharavi residents covering various themes like health, nutrition, relationships and sexuality, mental health, injuries and gender based violence. Created by first time comic creators in four artboxes spread across two years, this black and white anthology is a collection of experiences and memories of growing up in Dharavi.
Comics Epidemic was presented at Comics and Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health, an international workshop hosted by Graphic Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, 26th – 28th June, 2014.

Youngsters view the ‘Comics Epidemic’ anthology outside Shama Building. Image copyright Ilana Milner





The Dharavi Biennale

Dharavi has been experiencing an epidemic of a new kind. Comics about local nutrition, sanitation and health issues have been appearing on the walls. The fuss-free comics were drawn by young and old residents, for whom this was their first encounter with the medium. During intensive sessions about the graphic format (expressions, postures, dialogues, frames), participants developed narratives based on their own experiences. Each presented at least one black and white comic and care was taken to improve skills without losing personal style. Looking at the results, it was hard to imagine that few knew much about comics and fewer had read them.
 Read more on the Dharavi Biennale website

Review in The Comics Journal

Go to a bookstore in Mumbai and you will find many portraits of Dharavi and its people. They usually focus on adults from different regions working in different trades. Yet there is nothing, to my knowledge, on Dharavi’s youth, whose lives in most cases are a far cry from the street urchin image popularized in film. I am in no position to judge Comics Epidemic as a “development communications tool.” But I can say that it has provided me a glimpse into the present-tense of life in Dharavi from a perspective that I have not come across in the standard articles and books.

– Ryan Holmberg in his review of the Comics Epidemic for The Comics Journal Read the full review here 

Meet the Authors

Akhturnissa . Mangal Shinde . Suryamala . Komal Kale . Sita Waghmare Komal Vatkar . Ashwini . Shubhangi Sonawane . Surekha Tapase . Priyanka Tapase . Ganesh Joshi . Vaibhav . Pramod . Bhavesh Devaliya . Kaushik Devaliya . Sana . Naina Sawardekar . Pooja Vatkar . Sonali Sonawane . Sushma Shinde . Tinku Jha . Jyoti Katke . Misbah . Sachin Jaiswal . Sudhanshu Sharma . Pinku Jha . Akshay Shinde Sudha Sadhaphule . Laxman Mane . Rupesh Sable . Raghvendra Pol . Nilesh Pendurkar . Manoj Jaiswar . Kisan Salbul . Kanchan Gore . Ravi Vishwakarma . Avinash Jadhav . Sunita Laxman . Pooja Vaish . Saraswati Bhandare . Naushad Sheikh . Sanjay Jaiswar . Aniket Bagde . Navita Chitkindi . Tushar Kamble . Reshma Shaikh . Suraj Kale . Saiba Shaikh . Gudiya Pandey . Aarti Kori . Swapnil Kadam . Bhagyashree . Komal Kale . Komal Vhatkar . Nirant Kondave . Santosh Vishwakarma . Manish Sonawane . Darshana  Dhawale . Avinash Jadhav . Jyoti Yadav . Dilshad Shaikh
Project Directors
Nayreen Daruwalla . David Osrin

Mentor Artist 
Chaitanya Modak

Health experts and social scientists
Dr. Hemal Shroff . Sarika Salunkhe . Dr. Vineet Kumar . Pradeep Pawar .
Sumit Pawar . Dr. Anil More . Sneha Kupekar . Reshma Jagtap

Dipesh Thakker . Sitaram Kharat

Photo Documentation
Benita Fernando . Glyn Alcock

The Priya’s Shakti ARTbox
Ram Devineni . Tushar Prakash

Mozilla Foundation’s Maker Party, Nashik chapter
Omkar Walimbe . Mayur Patil . Vishal Chavan

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