Street art in Dehradun is not a new concept. Years ago, Waste Warriors started coloring the streets with waste management messages. Pan Trinity Das met up with them and created some iconic pieces. Ever since then, students and upcoming artists like Dehradun Graffiti have been experimenting with various concepts on the walls of this beautiful city nestled in the lap of the Himalayas.
Street Art Workshops for Everyone
The idea behind our trip to Dehradun was to make some cool pieces. However, we realized over the course of the past one year that street art alone is not enough to bring communities together. We need to engage the people. We need them to paint alongside us. So the workshops were basically our way of inviting the good folks of Dehradun to try out a new medium of painting.
At first, we thought, it was a noble effort and that we would be lucky to have half a dozen people. But seeing the response on Day 1 and then Day 2 and then Day 3, we were bowled over. They just kept on coming. Kids who were aspiring artists, their mothers and fathers who wanted to give a helping hand, a group of teachers who wanted to upskill themselves, college kids who wanted to give their passion for art a boost.
Omkar Dhareshwar and I tag teamed over five days along with the Waste Warriors team of Ankita, Anushi and Mr. Naveen to guide the participants with their experience. A presentation about the street art legends that we have met across the years and their art was followed up with a quick discussion on stencils and sketching before we took up brushes and went on the wall.
The best part of the workshops was the goal to finish a painting each day, together. That brought out the team spirit, the creativity and the joy that was the much needed super charger for the entire team.
Fighting Waste with Art
As Wicked Broz, we have been conducting street art and graffiti workshops in Mumbai for a long time, however, what we did differently here was to introduce the element of waste management. Now the participants did not just have to create a piece, it had to have a message too.
Waste Warriors have been working hard over the last decade to promote waste management practices and street art is one of the core activities. It was time to teach the people, how to arm themselves and fight this war against waste with art.
Giggling Monkey at Darshan Lal Chowk
While the workshops were underway at Shri Guru Nanak Doon Vale School in Race Course, street art was being planned at various places throughout the city. We met Mehek Malhotra (aka Giggling Monkey) during the Ladies First Street Art Festival back in March. A quick conversation about street art in Dehradun led her to book her tickets and join us here. This is where her home is and no one misses an opportunity to travel home and paint in your own city. We are glad that Mehek and her team mate Yohaan, were able to pull of a really bold message on Darshan Lal Chowk – No Art Without Earth. In her typical design style, she completed her first street art piece. Smiles all around but will the people listen? Let’s hope and see.
Unleashing the Mural Master at Nagar Nigam
One man has been on a mission for the past few years – Afzan Pirzade. He wants to be one of the best mural artists in the world and his powers are increasing with each wall he does (Check out his amazing works in 2018). His presence on this trip meant we ended up with some good pieces during the workshops but the main magic was waiting for the Nagar Nigam Wall.
Just as you enter Patel road opposite Nagar Nigam office, you will freeze. A stunning portrait of a beautiful woman accompanied with a hand being stopped from throwing trash. “My beauty, is your responsibility”. You get the message. Now let everyone know. And yes, do remember the artists name – Afzan. You are going to hear it more often.
Storytelling with Waste Warriors
Waste Warriors in its fight against waste has assembled a team of some brilliant minds led by Avinash Pratap Singh. Their effort at not just picking up waste and organizing waste walks but raising awareness in the households and colleges of Dehradun is exemplary. Everyone knows them. Their story is growing organically with them. So why not discuss some nuances of the art that has helped strong brands become stronger.
The thing about storytelling in the 21st century is that after a point, everyone is a character in the story. With Waste Warriors, they take this very seriously. I saw not just some amazing stories coming out in no time, I saw passion and most importantly some very very good actors in the gang.
Trip to Chakrata
The secret reason why Omkar, Afzan and I came to Dehradun was to trip. Hell yeah! Chakrata was a dream. Untouched forests on mountain tops and in those forests are villages that sometimes no roads reach. Chilling and hiking in these parts of the country is always a catharsis moment for us all.
A great end to a great weak doing street art in Dehradun. Until we meet again.
Read up on how Wicked Broz met Waste Warriors and pulled off an amazing waste management mural in Ambala on this link.
We then teamed up next in Dharamshala in Dec 2017 to create a unique story of trash monster creating havoc on the hills – Blog on this link.