Thursday, December 30, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Fwd: Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability


--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shiva Shankar <>
Date: Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability

Available from 1 Jan 2011.

BHIMAYANA: Experiences of Untouchability - Incidents in the life of
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

art: Durgabai Vyam, Subhash Vyam; story: Srividya Natarajan, S. Anand

Four Colour | 108 pages | Rs 995 | 8 x 11 in | Limited Edition Hardback in
special paper | 9788189059170

Four Colour | 108 pages | Rs 395 | 8 x 11 in | Paperback in 130 gsm art
paper | 9788189059354

What does it mean to be an untouchable in India? Why do some Indians
despise the touch of others? Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-956), one of
India's foremost revolutionaries, recounts his experiences of growing
up untouchable and being routinely discriminated against: in school at
the age of 10, in Baroda after his return from Columbia University,
and while traveling. Battling odds, Ambedkar drafted the Constitution
of India and eventually embraced Buddhism. Experiences similar to
Ambedkar's continue to haunt a majority of India's 170 million dalits.
They are still denied water, shelter and the basic dignities of life.

In this ground-breaking work, Pardhan-Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and
Subhash Vyam interweave historical events like the Mahad satyagraha
with contemporary incidents. Defying conventional grammar, they infuse
fresh energy into the graphic idiom through their magical art mounted
on an epic scale.

Praise for the book:

'An extraordinary book. A conference of corporeal experience across
generations, full of pain and empathy.' John Berger, author of Ways of

'The story of the life of Bhimrao Ambedkar, one of India's most
important thinkers, has been deliberately sidelined for decades.
Bhimayana re-tells it in the most unusually beautiful way. It is
unforgettable.' Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things.

'The artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam have dropped most of the
West's and manga's typical comics conventions and boldly use of their
own artistic heritage, the Pardhan Gond tradition, to craft a
distinctive graphic biography of one of India's bravest and greatest
leaders, Bhimrao Ambedkar, an 'untouchable' and a fierce critic of
Gandhi. Heavy in symbolism and motifs, Bhimayana is challenging in all
the right ways and still conveys with flair who Ambedkar was and why
his revolutionary ideas about the caste system still matter so much to
the India of today.' Joe Sacco, author of Palestine.

About the artists:

Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam are Pardhan Gond artists belonging to
the same clan as the legendary Jangarh Singh Shyam. The artist-couple
lives in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Durgabai has won acclaim for her
paintings and for illustrations for several books. Subhash is an
accomplished sculptor and has worked with many media. This is their
first graphic book and their first book together.

A simultaneous DC Books-Navayana Malayalam edition is also being
launched. For other language rights write to

For bulk orders and discounts visit

To avail the entire Navayana backlist and forthcoming titles at your
doorstep for free, please enroll in the Navayana Book Club:

Book Club Rs 10,000 membership closes 31 Dec 2010.

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