No Laughing Matter: The Ambedkar Cartoons, 1932 - 1956
Curated by: Navayana X G5A
Navayana in association with G5A presents the book launch of Unnamati Syama Sundar’s No Laughing Matter. The launch will be followed by the author, Bishakha Dutta, and Prabhakar Kamble in conversation with S. Anand publisher, Navayana
Entry free and open to all. RSVP mandatory: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the book
This history like no other asks you to consider what you are laughing at.
In 2012, the inclusion of a 1949 cartoon by Shankar showing Jawaharlal Nehru whipping a snail-borne B.R. Ambedkar in a school textbook, evoked Dalit protest, and a Savarna counter on the grounds of artistic freedom. Scholar and cartoonist Unnamati Syama Sundar then undertook an archival survey of cartoons on Ambedkar in the English language press. The result, a collection of over a hundred cartoons from India’s leading publications, drawn by Shankar, Enver Ahmed and R.K. Laxman, among others, lays bare the perverse and thoughtless hostility Ambedkar often contended with. The incisional commentary woven around each cartoon offers a veritable biography of a man historically wronged.
About the artist
Unnamati Syama Sundar grew up in Vijayawada on a diet of Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace, Chacha Chaudhary and Amar Chitra Katha. He is doing his doctoral research at Jawaharlal Nehru University on the art featured in Chandamama, the popular Telugu children’s magazine founded in 1947. Syama Sundar is well-known for his Ambedkarite cartoons in the non-savarna social media world. His work is featured regularly on the website roundtableindia.co.in.
The Black Box
We request you to bring warm clothes as it gets chilly inside the Black Box as temperatures need to be controlled at optimum levels as per technical requirements
Food, beverages and water are strictly prohibited inside the Black Box. Please do not carry them in your bags either
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis
Please do come at least 15 minutes prior to the show and enjoy a good cup of coffee at PORT
No Late Entries will be allowed
Latecomers can only be allowed in at intermission or at an appropriate pause in the program and as per the instructions of the organizers