RESTORYING: Graphic Narratives from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh

RESTORYING: Narratives from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India


‘The shadows retreated

into the roots of each tree,

but we remained where we were.’

-Craig Thompson, Blankets

Over sixty years of independence have done little to diminish the interest and engagement with the division of the Indian subcontinent into two and then three sovereign independent states. Mapmaking, exodus, memories and curiosity have become a permanent in the lives of its citizens on all sides of the various borders.

For over three generations now, the most definitive formative moment in modern South Asian history, Partition has remained an are of constant engagement for scholars, artists, journalists and commentators manifesting their explorations through academic research, reportage and most importantly creative encounters through art, literature and films. However, this cross-border engagement like cross-border migration has not ended with a generation or two. It is an ongoing exercise.
The current generation of young scholars, activists, artists, media persons and creative professionals did not live through this epoch-making event. They are still struggling with facts and figures and they explore the socio-political imperatives, identify commons, try to make sense of the memories and images. They are attempting to piece together the consequences of the Partition in an effort to come to terms with both the tangibility of the schism and life beyond, as well as the many related events that play themselves out in sectarian rhetoric all over the subcontinent. In their own way, many across the subcontinent are seeking a space for dialogue.

In this regard, it would be important to explore this engagement of the subcontinent’s younger generation with an iconic event in a graphic narrative exploiting and experimenting with the possibilities of visual storytelling. At the same time, as we all know, no single narritive can comprehensively tell the story of Partition, nor can hope to represent the entire gamut of responses that the memory, history and legacy of Partition evokes. For this reason, it is proposed to involve artists from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and bring together a Partition Anthology in a Comic or Graphic Novel Format.

The idea is to bring together storytellers from diverse practices and professions and explore the possibilities on the drawing board from their particular perspectives. The Partition Anthology seeks graphic narratives or comics from comic book artists, writers, artists, illustrators, film makers, theatre artists and every other storyteller across the subcontinent. We seek more exploration on Partition, by fiction and non-fiction writers/storytellers.

The idea of bringing together a graphic anthology on a theme like Partition is also to explore the engagement of the fourth generation in a genre that is of great interest to young readers across the world. For the contributors and the readers too it would throw open a platform for a dialogue in a visual space, in black and white, and in print.

‘Guftagu bund na ho
Baat se baat chale
Subh tak sham-e-mulaqat chale
Hum pe hansti hui yeh taron bhari raat chale’

(Keep the conversation going.
One word leading to another
The evening rendezvous lasting till dawn,
The starry night laughing down with us.)

-Ali Sardar Jaffri/ The Youthful Boatman of Joy


• Restorying: Narratives from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, will have Vishwajyoti Ghosh, author of Delhi Calm as Volume Editor. The book will be published by YODA PRESS in partnership with Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan.
• Comic book artists, writers, artists, illustrators, film makers, photographers, theatre artists and storytellers from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and such nationals from the world are invited to contribute to the anthology that would be released in August 2012.
• The anthology will publish only ORIGINAL stories by the authors. The anthology does not seek illustrated versions of classic narratives, or any author’s text whose consent has not been taken.
• Around 20 selected narratives will be published in the anthology.
• The narratives can be by a single author or through collaboration between more.
• We seek a range of stories within the genres of fiction, reportage, non-fiction; documentary, poetic narratives, even abstract narratives, etc. as long as there is a comprehensible Story that moves from Point A to Point B to Point Z. Experimentation is more than welcome as long as there is a story!
• Just as we seek a range of stories, visually too we look forward to a range of styles from conventional comics, photo comics, mixed media, collage, etc.
• Text vs. Visuals: The idea of a graphic narrative is to sync the text and visuals together where they both take the story forward. The authorship of the text and the visuals should come out individually yet together seamlessly make the same narrative. For those who might be attempting the genre for the first time or collaborating, it will be important to keep this in mind.


Copyright: All rights will rest with the authors for their respective pieces. However it will be expected that the contribution is first released in the Anthology and then if anywhere else. Also publishing the contribution simultaneously elsewhere is not expected. In the case of collaboration, both the writer and artist will enjoy equal authorship.

Honorarium: All contributions will be awarded a onetime fixed honorarium for the same. In case of a contribution having more than a single artist, the honorarium will be divided equally among the number of contributors.

Page Size: 16.5 cm. (width) X 23 cm. (height),
Artwork Size: 13.2 cm. (width) X 19.5 cm. (height).

In case of bleed the page size will be the final size.

Colours: Black & White only.

No. of Pages: A contribution can be of minimum 4 pages to a maximum of 16 pages. This would also include a single page for the cover of the contribution.

Preliminary Submission: The core storyline alongwith 2 style sheets (final style of visuals/layouts on the page), must be submitted by the 7th of November 2011.
The preliminary selection will be on the basis of the story (both fiction & non fiction) and its visual interpretation. The shortlisted contributors will then have a period of over 60 days  to complete the final piece.
Writers willing to explore their texts in a graphic format may send in their texts and Artists/Illustrators willing to explore a literary text in a graphic narrative or comics may send in their work samples. The editorial team could then organise a collaboration for authors/illustrators
If the story is in any other language than English:
Kindly send the original story along with a loose working translation in english. If the story is selected, it will get translated from the publisher’s end and the final version will be discussed with the author. 
Submissions/ queries to be sent by mail to:


CURATOR/EDITOR: Vishwajyoti Ghosh, a graphic novelist and filmmaker, is the author of the graphic novel Delhi Calm, a political graphic novel set during the Emergency of the 70s. Based in New Delhi, Ghosh has worked across the subcontinent with organizations in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. As a founder member of the Pao Collective, he also remains an active and dynamic participant in graphic/comics artists’ collective projects and works often with graphic artists from different parts of South Asia.

PUBLISHER: YODA PRESS has been publishing quality titles since 2004 in an effort to build cohesive lists on subjects which represent the alternative contemporary South Asia. Its focus on sexuality, new perspectives in Indian history, urban studies and popular and visual culture has been widely appreciated, and after eight years in the publishing trade, it can now claim to have a list of titles by a whole range of specialists, scholars, activists and litterateurs reflecting contemporary concerns and cutting-edge strategies. YODAKIN, the bookstore started by YODA PRESS in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi offers books and periodicals by independent publishers, documentary cinema by Indian filmmakers, selected world cinema, and music by independent record labels and musicians. With YODAKIN, the publishing house now has a space where it connects with like-minded enterprises and individuals, and where it curates entire series of events around the issues and strategies discussed by the titles on its list.


The Goethe Institute organises and promotes a wide spectrum of cultural events in Delhi and other north Indian cities with the aim of presenting German culture, particularly its contemporary aspects, in India. Its artistic and reflexive programmes and projects are developed in close cooperation with Indian partner institutions. 



3 thoughts on “RESTORYING: Graphic Narratives from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh


    Partition and the issues of location, dislocation, roots are cultural specific. I am dealing with Sacco’s Palestine and Gaza. And eagerly waiting for the graphic narrative of India’s partition to work on a comparative analysis of the trauma…..which remains same though distanced by time and space.So please inform when is it that are we going to be gifted with such a book?


    When is our first graphic novel on Indian partition going to be released……..Pls reply.Awaiting

  3. Pranav says:

    Hi Sir, I am making a school project of Partition and really want to buy the graphic book. By what I read, it can be a great help for my project and for me in understanding the hearts of the sufferers in detail. Please tell me where can i buy this. I searched for it online but couldn’t find it. Thanks a lot sir. Please reply soon.

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