Herald: GOAN DIASPORA TO DRAW LINES TO CONNECT TO GOA

GOAN DIASPORA TO DRAW LINES TO CONNECT TO GOA

11 Jun 2019 03:19am IST

Report by
Dolcy D’Cruz

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11 Jun 2019 03:19am IST

Report by
Dolcy D’Cruz

Leave a comment

For the first time, World Goa Day is organising an ongoing cartoon contest based on Goa and has been receiving an overwhelming response from the Goan diaspora. Many of the cartoons depict current issues that the state is facing, making cartooning an effective medium of social expression

A line drawing is not just a line drawing. It’s a

connect to one’s roots. And caricature more than an act of lampooning. It’s a connect, a way of raising issues. As World Goa Day celebrates 20 years of completion, socio-political cartoonist Dr Smitha Bhandare Kamat and founder member Rene Barreto are organising a global cartoon contest with the theme ‘Goa’. The event is open to the Goan diaspora irrespective of age and gender and cartoons can be uploaded till June 30, 2019 on the WSD Facebook page.

“More than winning the competition, the motive is to get Goans to participate and feel connected to their roots in Goa. This is the first time I am part of the celebration and I thought of doing something that was close to me – cartooning. The response is great; we have participants as young as 10 years to 81-year-old Sylvia Mario from Mozambique. Though the focus is on cartoons, we have many people sending in illustrations, sketches and paintings too,” says Dr Smitha, an Assistant Professor at SS Dempo College of Commerce and Economics, Panjim.

Noted international jury members include Yuksel Cenciz, Turkey; Keti Radevska, Macedonia; James Vaz, Bangalore and Goan cartoonist Joseph Dias. “Michelle Gonsalves has been motivating Goans in Mozambique and since it is social media, the contest has been motivating. There are so many themes that one can draw about Goa but for drawing cartoons, you are challenged about what you want to put out there using your mind and talent. You have to draw and pass on the message, most of the time without hurting sentiments,” says Dr Smitha, who has been drawing cartoons for various newspapers and magazines.

Giles Gomez from Moira has been drawing cartoons on contemporary issues on Goa for Goa Today, a monthly magazine in Goa. A retired Indian Air Force doctor, Giles now devotes more time to his hobby. “I draw 4-5 cartoons every month based on different issues on Goa. I read the newspaper every day and select themes that are recurring. They have to be topics that are repeated over a few days on the newspaper and something people can relate to,” says Giles, who recently drew members of the Aldona Lions Club as characters from Asterix comics.

Dubai based cartoonist Billy Joe Fernandes is always quick to draw a cartoon on the current affairs of Goa and post it on his Facebook page, ‘Billytoons Goa’. “I have taken up Goan issues like bad roads, the coconut tree, Goan taxi, Regional Plan, Zuari bridge, coal issue, migrants, Fr Bismarque’s fight and his death, etc. I introduced the character, Pedro Juanv, who comes with issues he sees around him. I do have a very good response rate on social media, with people sharing it and commenting their opinions. My last post was on promoting Goan tourism and beaches. I normally draw on a weekly basis or when time permits,” says Billy, who is currently working on the San Joao event that will take place on June 21, 2019 in Dubai.

Alexyz has been drawing cartoons for over four decades and has been across the world for exhibitions of his cartoons based on Goa. He currently draws cartoons for the Goa edition of a national daily. “My brief is to draw cartoons based on what’s happening in Goa while there are contributors whose cartoons are based on everyday politics in India. I used to upload cartoons on Facebook, for which I used to get instant feedback. The space for cartoons has reduced, apart from the newspapers and magazines in Goa. I feel my work is more appreciated by the Goan diaspora compared to Goans in Goa,” says Alexyz, who will be presenting a caricature of legendary Braz Goansalves and his wife Yvonne on a ghumot on June 14, 2019 at a tribute concert at Kala Academy, Panjim.

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