Friday 24 January 2014

Martin Luther King’s story in Patua art

A spread from the book

A remarkable publication from Tara Books in Chennai, India! The story of Martin Luther King’s life and the civil rights struggle in the Sixties in the US, drawn by a Patua artist from Bengal, with lyrical prose by an African-American writer.

Patua scroll art is a longtime storytelling tradition in Bengal. The artist paints a scroll with, typically, 20 to 30 panels and tells or sings the story while showing the panels one at a time. He goes from one village to the next and lives primarily on what he can collect from the villagers. His stories are mainly from the religious and the mythological realm, but also contemporary events can be turned into this art form.

Tara Books commissioned  Patua artist Manu Chitrakar to paint the story of Martin Luther King jr and when it was still in a sketch format they engaged  US writer Arthur Flowers to write the text. The text and the art were combined by  Italian graphic designer Gugliemo Rossi into an enjoyable fusion. 

Special thanks go to the Helsinki Library that bought the book for us to read!

Posting by Leif Packalen

I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. 
by Arthur Flowers (Author) , Manu Chitrakar (Illustrator)

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