University of the Arts London
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Natasa Thoudam - An Imagined Graphic Story of the Meitei Graphic Narrative

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-06-29, 15:41 authored by Natasa Thoudam
03/07/2020 10:00 Room 1 #aniinp

This paper is on the Meitei Mayek, the revived script of the Meitei community of Manipur in India's Northeast. It tries to imagine a creative story of the Meitei Mayek in the form of a graphic narrative and intertwined it with the story of paintings including illustrative arts of the Meiteis. Among others, I have used here Kshetrimayum Subadani and her book 'Illustrated Folk Tales of Manipur' published in 2010, which was one of the earliest graphic novel or narrative or comics in Meiteilon, or the language spoken by the Meiteis, to be transliterated into the Roman English script. The paper thus attempts to write a graphic narrative that traces a historical connection between the folk tales or phunga waris of the Meiteis, the script of the Meitei Mayek, and the paintings including illustrative arts of the Meiteis, as well as an imagined form of the same graphic narrative that would emerged as a result of the interaction between the oral folk form and the orthographic system of the Meiteis. The paper is divided into two parts: an introductory preface and a pictorial story of the Meitei graphic narrative. For this presentation, the prefactory part will be my oral narration visually accompanied by pages of the graphic narrative I have drawn. If time permits, I shall try to discuss at least one page of my graphic narrative.


The Zubaan-Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) Research Grants for Young Researchers from the Northeast; Title: An Imagined Graphic Story of the Meitei Graphic Narrative funded by Zubaan Publishers, New Delhi, India, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, Japan (2018-19).



Natasa Thoudam, PhD (2019), IIT Bombay, is an independent researcher who was a recipient of the Zubaan-SPF Grant for Young Researchers from the Northeast (2018–19) for a collaborative project titled Fragrance of Peace funded by Zubaan Publishers, India, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), Japan. Her doctoral research was on women’s writing on political violence in Manipur. She has also extensively published research papers and presented conference papers on this topic. She was awarded the CD Narasimhaiah Prize for the Best Paper read at IACLALS ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017.

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