media literacy

Jaswinder by Bindaas

I was lucky to have Jaswinder as a student. On Saturday morning, when we got kicked out of the mosque, at this point most of the boys split to continue on with their vagabond activities. Jaswinder had by chance missed his bus to school, and was reprimanded by his mother, who told him not to return before school was over. 

And thus he is one of the major participants of Khoj Vigyapan Poster Workshop

Jaswinder took a very keen interest in photography. In the two days has captured some of the most well composed and thoughtful images.

Aath Minar - Eight Minar by Bindaas

5th AUGUST 2012 

Sunday afternoon was chaos....

Some photo enthusiasts were being snap happy

Photo by Roshan
A lot of experimentation was at play, in camera that too. 
It was very impressive. 

Since this was the first day of participation for  Roshan, Arjun, Siddhart, Pradeep & Sachin, they drove the campaign for the facade from Prakash's concept sheet which had two topics. One was the kites and the other was his compelling line the Brand New Khirki Masjid. Therefore, in the spirit of the advertising focus, we decided to create an elevated version of the dilapidated mosque and apply more ideas of digital manipulation. 
Collectively we chose the befitting picture. 

Art Director: Prakash, Roshan, Arjun & Sachin
Copywriter: Prakash & Sandeep 
Contributions by  Siddharth Kumar, Pradeep Kumar & Radha. 

 Then there was more photo explorations, some on the computer and some on the camera.

Photos by Roshan, Arjun & Pradeep

While working on Radhas cmapaign

Everyone got a chance with the mouse, and watch aspects of the image dissapear with the use of the clone stamp.

Radha was the only girl in group. Sometimes the boys teased her, and sometimes helped her out. 

Lattoo Baaz by Bindaas

5th AUGUST 2012 

Owing to the short duration of the workshop, the concept sheets were very helpful for getting all the shots done. It was not necessary that the participant would shoot the picture for his or her own concept sheet. 

This image is taken by Rahul, because he was the only one there on Sunday morning and many Prakash and Radha had both drawn the facade of the mosque on their concept sheets.  

Sunny joined in that morning for a short time, we started the Lattoo Baaz  shoot immediately. 

Since lattoos are only around during the winter, we decided we would cut paste from the web, the actual toy. 

 We took many different angles, the lesson was to account for the lattoo which would later be photoshoped into the frame. 

And then gathered the others to walk over to the office, where we would download the images and start retouching with the amazing Dipti Desai
 Photo by Roshan

Photos by Rahul

In the computer session, the kids played around with contrast and explored different fonts or what we called 'handwriting'. 

In the absence of Rahul during this session, who had left by then, there was a conflict over the line: World's the best lattoo baaz(top spinner) as a fallacy The children argued that Khirki village was a very small part of the world. Therefore, the line was changed to Purane Masjid Mein - In the Old Mosque instead. And thus Rahul had to renounce his imaginary lattoo world championship.

Art Director: Prakash & Sachin
Copywriter: Rahul & Sandeep Prakash
Contributions by Roshan Kumar, Arjun Sarkar, Siddharth Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, & Jaswinder

Prakash's Campaign by Bindaas

4rd AUGUST 2012 

 Photo by Sachin

Photo by Prakash

 Photo by Sachin

In this assignment, we were going to stich 3 images. The one above, for the kite. And the one below for the main model who is captured as though he is flying away with the kite. 

Since Prakash was interested in cut and paste, we captured images accordingly. 

Dipti spent Sunday morning with us at the office teaching the children as well as taking photos. 

We changed the color of the kite, and learnt how to use the clone stamp the next day. And crafted the final campaign. 

 Art Director: Prakash
Copywriter: Prakash, Roshan, Arjun,Rahul, Pradeep.
Contributions by Jaswinder, Sachin, Sunny and many others.  

Radha's Campaign by Bindaas

4rd AUGUST 2012 

Radha's Concept Sheet

     "The story of this fort is that there was a couple of a queen and a king. They were living happily. Suddenly one day the enemies of king's they fought to each other, the king's enemy wanted his fort and that's why he fought with king. There is a way to underground and king and queen ran away from that way. The enemies lived for a long time and he died. These is a hidden way to go to  Taj Mahal, India Gate, Qutub Minar. 

     The surrounding of this fort was very opened and now it's so congested. The value of the Khirki Village is very high only because of this fort. There are three gates to enter and exit. 

     As I know the story of this fort is that this fort is a historical place. It has many windows so this area is also known as Window Village (Khirki Village)

     In 2005 there was a work created by Government they wanted to repair this fort. When the laborers drilled the ground there was a few pots of gold. And now that gold is with Government."

When I asked Radha, what aspect of the fort she wanted to capture, she replied that this was a one of the most beautiful playground's for the  children. In her mind this mosque was actually a fort. 

Khirki Masjid, a structure that was originally built to house the quietude of prayer and ritualistic activities, has lost its religious sanctity. The dark corridors house alcoholic congregations and the musty domes have become the caves of thousands of bats. But according to Radha, it is a place of refuge for children girls and boy alike. The elders of the village occasionally visit this congregational space, but while I was there, I only saw creepy activities. 

Radha choreographed this shot. My job was to help her channel her writing in conjunction with the imagery. As opposed to the older kids, her visual conception needed work, based on her literal representation of the structure in her drawing on the concept sheet. Inspired by Jaswinder's idea of staging the children in the mosque, we tried a couple of shots. She learnt how to improvise the image, and progressively changed her frame to include the window in the back. 

Radha got her chance and we had to move on to the next campaign; Prakash's cut paste experiment. 

Andi was having a good time photographing too. 

 Photo by Unknown Participant.

Other children who had joined in later and had no campaign to shoot, just played around with the cameras

Photo by Unknown Participant.

Adil and Manohar also joined the session along with Radha, Jaswinder, Shivani, Komal, Sampa, Anjali and Nandani. 

The next day we made this. Radha's final campaign.

Art Director: Radha Kumari
Copywriter: Prakash, Radha Kumari
Contributions by Roshan Kumar, Arjun Sarkar, Siddharth Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, & Jaswinder

Homework! by Bindaas

4rd AUGUST 2012 

On Saturday morning, Ramesh and I met the boys Prakash, Rahul, Sunny, Jaswinder and some newcomers. They had evidently bunked school, and 2 of them had brought back amazing concept sheets. It was a very beautiful begning to an exciting day. We were all charged up to realise these ideas. 

Since I had not shown this group the Dove Evolution film, Pradeep was amazed and now was interested in exploring cut paste options as he was keen on learning photoshop. My challenge was to translate both the written and visual material into a solid concept for the ad campaigns. 

Prakash's Concept Sheet
"In Khirki Masjid, we fly kites, and we chat with our friends" 
"The old style Khirki Masjid ---> The Brand New"

Rahul's campaign 
"World's Best Top Spinner in Khirki Village"

   Our enthusiasm was then shut down within half an hour of the session by some digruntled authorities of the masjid, who asked us to leave and thus disapating our group. The kids went to bum around, leaving was just the 3 of us. Ramesh, Jaswinder and me

This one on one session with Jaswinder was very valuable. Owing to the complexity of the assignment, I was able to truly explain to how to concept, visualise and brand the mosque. 

 Jaswinder played with the Mark II, we had all the time in the world. This portrait of Ramesh is taken by him.

Photos by Jaswinder

Jaswinder's Concept Sheet
"Khirki Masjid is best place for hide and seek and other out door games"

After lunch we headed to the mosque and translated his idea in a dress reherseal with Andi, while the other children were being gathered. 

Khoj Vigyapan Poster Workshop Day 1 by Bindaas

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.  

This is one of the examples of how a concept  
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. 

Some children took to this activity immediately
 Others  focussed on their sheet. 

    Photo by Unknown Participant from Khirki. She explained that she captured this image because, she wanted to close these holes in the terrace by using photoshop in her campaign.
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.