The aim of this project was to explore rich, alternative and newer ways of telling stories from the epics – to question the ‘single story’ and to create and engage with fiction and the visual image. “Devas” is a contemporary myth about Ganga’s seven sons who grow up to be the Gods of cleanliness and are the cosmic Gods of Nature.
It is an initiative that aims to target religious people who would keep Ganga clean in the fear of God.
Verse meaning - "Whenever, O Bharat, righteousness (dharma) declines and unrighteousness is rampant, I manifest myself."
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
- Bhagwat Geeta.
In Hinduism, the Mother Ganga is considered to be the most sacred place to wash off ones sins and the epics associated with it are accepted by millions of human beings. She explains the idea of creation and destruction, birth and death and most of all she is a form to seek divinity and faith in the form of practices performed around her. But what are we giving to her in return? Are we facing subtle punishments for she is at a verge of dying? Aren’t we responsible for her wellbeing?
My project showcases an ideology that aims at cleaning Ganga by using religious influence of Gods in India. In my country people have unquestionable faith and fear in all forms of God. The concept of this project is build to target such mindsets and challenge preservation of Nature through a story that is accepted as a myth by the people of India. And furthermore, influence people to keep Ganga clean in the name of God.
The process revolved around the idea to create Gods of cleanliness and introduce them to religious practitioners to pray and believe in, thus fear Gods and protect the River. In manuscripts the Gods are the cosmic elements of Nature that makes it more believable- Hot Fire (Anala), North Star (Dhrva), Sun (Pratyusha), Moon (Soma), Wind (Anila), Earth (Dhara) and Space (Aha). Each God focuses on a specific problem around the river and warns human being about the destruction they are causing to the Nature. Moreover, the punishments (as revenge in order to save Mother Ganga) given by the Gods correlate with the Natural disasters that had occurred around the river due to human activities, and may happen again if we do not stop. This is done in the form of an illustrated book influenced by Hindu mythology with a convincing thoughtfully written story of the Seven Sons of Ganga and powerful visuals. The collaterals add to the explanation of the idea and help start a conversation.
And the story begins...
Use of visual metaphors.
Unburnt dead bodies are thrown in the Ganges. (One)
Dams are build to change the flow of the river. (Two)
Deforestation leading to soil erosion. (Three)
Vigorous agriculture for crop. (Four)
Wind pollution because of the factories around the river. (Five)
Aggressive Mechanisation and digging the land around the river for urbanisation. (Six)
Harming the fish and fauna in and around the river. (Seven)
Stamps for postcards