The class presentation project of Jadavpur University students is now the talk of the town. They have successfully created a graffiti in Braille, one of the first in India. These six students, who are currently pursuing their master’s conceptualized the graffiti as a part of their class presentation project for the module Literature and Marginalities.
The presentation materialized with the joint effort of- Manikankana Sengupta, Subhradeep Chatterjee, Emon Bhattacharya, Chandrima Mukhopadhyaya, Utsa Ghosh and Anik Mondal. The group calls themselves ‘graffiti joint.‘ The artwork is placed on one of the walls of the UG Arts Building on the university campus.
The project which was created in two parts focusses on Braille graffiti in the West and the representation of disability in the graffiti arts.
<1/3>This is an installation of a Braille graffiti that we put up in the UG Arts Bldg of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
This is the first Braille graffiti of this form in India
and reads "subaltern" in Braille.#crip #braille #graffiti #kolkata #india #jadavpuruniversity pic.twitter.com/xEB1ftJkXu
— SubhradeepChatterjee (@subhradeepch) March 3, 2020
“This is one of those moments when as a teacher you feel so proud of your students. I take immense pride in declaring that this is the first braille graffiti, to the best of my knowledge, in West Bengal, if not in the entire country.
We can say this is one of the many small steps towards making the department culturally accessible, which is as important as making the space physically accessible,” responded Ishan Chakraborty, to newzhook.com. Ishan, who is blind works as an assistant professor at the department of English.
The graffiti was created within 6 days and the world subaltern has been scripted on the wall with half-cut tennis balls, which were then stuck to the walls with cement.
“The graffiti is spelled ‘Subaltern’ as disabled people are subaltern in many ways” responded Utsa Ghosh to Campus Varta.
The team was inspired by a series of graffiti created by a European artist ‘The Blind.’ The urban artist who goes with the pseudonym ‘Blind’, creates Braille graffiti all over Nantes, and in the rest of Europe when he travels.
“This is to ensure cultural accessibility to the disabled instead of focusing on only the essential needs. By creating this graffiti, we have aimed to crip space and spread awareness about disability along with making graffiti accessible which otherwise belongs to the visual domain. Our campus has a number of visually disabled students and the display is generating much interest,” said Subhradeep Chatterjee, one of the students to Campus Varta.
The first graffiti in Braille in the world was designed by a non-commercial organization “Belaya Trost” who launched a Braille Art project during the street art festival Stenograffia in Ekaterinburg, Russia.