3rd AUGUST 2012
Khirki Masjid a 13th Century Mughal structure, is one of the 43 monuments identified by the Archeological Survery of India (ASI) for restoration in recognition of its 'Grade A' categorisation by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Its architectural speciality is the numerous ubiquitous arch windows (carved out of stone guard) with perforated screens or tracery, known as "Khirkis"", the village of Khirki which surrounds this mosque thus gets its name from it.
On August 3rd, the media literacy course called 'Khoj Vidya/gyapan Poster Workshop' commenced on the terrace of this structure, which has now become a recreational area for the residents of the neighbourhood.
Photographer Dipti Desai of Belgaum and Sumit Dayal of Kashmir graciously offered their help. Dipti and I gathered the younger children, along with Andi and Ramesh of Khoj. We showed them examples of advertisements, explained to them the fabrication of commercial imagery, layout, concept and conceptulisation of message.
These examples highlighted how exclusions made in the photographic frame are an important aspect of capturing the subject in advertisements according to the idea formulated.
They were introduced to concept sheets, on which we asked them to concoct their own commercial, about their very own Khirki Masjid. They we asked to draw an image and write either a slogan or a few lines about what in particular, they would highlight in their photograph, in the photo session the next day.
sheet is realised.
The children also watched the Dove Evolution film, which summarized photoshop and image manipulation
Dipti, Sumit and I lent them our high end professional cameras to play with.
Others focussed on their sheet.
Thanks to Sumit, who managed to convince some older boys who happend to be flying kites on the terrace to come join in. Pradeep, Rahul, Sunny and his friends ended up getting deeply involved in this workshop.
Although it seemed like I was assigning a very complex task to some young strangers on the roof of a dilapidated masjid, I was adamant on creating with them a well thought out ad campaign poster about Khirki Masjid by the end of this weekend. Children of 2012 are surrounded by image laden media streams that constantly engage them. I was banking on this know-how as well as deeply interested in teaching them to critically adress this media.
Photos by Radha
Photo Below by Jaswinder Singh
At around 6.30pm we parted our ways.With the hope that in our first short session. which included displaying the contradicting reality in advertisements, and a quick demonstration of the posibilites of the professional camera. We were scheduled to convine the next morning at 11am.
I was looking forward to our next session and was curious to see who would attend, let alone bring back homework or even have grasped the idea of visualisation and layout.
New Delhi, India.