Programmes

Debjani Mukherjee

Profile of Debjani Mukherjee

Debjani Mukherjee
Ph.D. IIT Bombay). Ph.D. Topic “Indigenous Art Pedagogy: A study of Visual Narratives in the Bhil Artist Community of Bhopal, India”
M.Des. Animation Film Making (NID Ahmedabad)
B.Sc. Economics (Hons.) Math, Statistics (Calcutta University)
Abstract
‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’
– Henry FordThe most exciting experience I ever had was when I discovered how filmmaking and the arts could be used as an effective and powerful medium to explore, express and even raise social concerns while working with the children of the artist communities, NGO’s and schools in India. As an artist and filmmaker, I have enjoyed exploring traditional narrative styles, indigenous art forms and objects through stop-motion animation and picture books.

To further engage with my subject and to turn my passion into a sustainable social model, I cofounded ‘BOL – Community Filmmaking Platform’ in 2010 where we aimed to teach children and youth with no background in filmmaking, and co-created with them films based on indigenous and community stories through stop-motion animation, theatre and music. BOL works in collaboration and partnership with other non-profits and organizations, promoting art as an effective tool for selfdiscovery, self-expression and social change. During the past years, I have had the opportunity to participate in some interesting projects like design/author a series of 3 books called ‘Draw Your Rights’ introducing Child Rights to young adults, mentoring a series of animated documentaries on the powerful topic of gender based violence and another series on ‘Of Peaceful Days’ at Yangon Film School, Myanmar.

With the need to structure and analyse my work, and to make the learning modules grounded and local on one hand and global on the other, I chose to take a step forward in academics, to pursue a PhD. My research topic is “Indigenous Art Pedagogy: A study of Visual Narratives in the Bhil Artist Community of Bhopal, India” under the supervision of Prof. Mazhar Kamran from IIT Bombay and Prof. Disha Nawani from TISS, Mumbai. My practice based research involves working with the Bhil artist community of Madhya Pradesh, India, learning their indigenous art style from the community artists and proposing a learning structure based on my methodology of ‘experiential ethnography’. I am also in the process of co-creating an animated documentary film and picture book with Bhuri Bai, a Bhil community artist. Presently, apart from being a full-time research scholar, I am a Teaching Assistant at Industrial Design Center, Indian Institute of Technology (IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay).

Subjects taught at UID
______
Academic Awards and Scholarships
• 2019 EMRU TOWNSEND Awards, SAS
• FOKUS-IAWRT Scholarship 2018
• 1st Jai Chandiram Memorial Fellowship 2017
• 2014 EMRU TOWNSEND Awards, SAS
Awards and Nominations for Films

“Shabdhane” / Take Care

2011
Nominated at Cairo International Film Festival
2010
1st Prize Viewer’s Choice Awards in Professional Category at Anifest’

“Shabdhane”

2011
Nominated at Cairo International Film Festival
2010
1st Prize Viewer’s Choice Awards in Professional Category at Anifest’