22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Vishwajyoti Ghosh

Portrait Vishwajyoti Ghosh
© Hartwig Klappert

Vishwajyoti Ghosh is an Indian graphic novelist and cartoonist who has published numerous cartoons and comics on social and political topics.

His most ambitious and most discussed work to date was the graphic novel »Delhi Calm« (2010). In it Ghosh brings together realistic comic passages with political commentaries and fantastical elements in order to remember a particularly incisive and controversially discussed period in more recent Indian history, the state of internal emergency from 1975 to 1977, referred to in India as »The Emergency«. The government of the time suspended citizen’s fundamental rights and restricted basic rights like freedom of the press for a period of 21 months and had many activists, dissidents and members of the opposition arrested. Ghosh recapped the consequences of the state of emergency by looking at the example of a group of intellectuals and artists who react to certain situations in different ways. His watercolour illustrations in earthy brown tones are semi-realistic with caricaturing and fairytale-like elements. His most recent book publication was the group project curated by him »This Side That Side: Restorying Partition«, an anthology of graphic narratives by 48 illustrators and authors from southern Asia. With impressive diversity of styles and perspectives, it deals with the partition of the former British India after the Second World War. This partition based on religious and ethical strife lead to the establishment of the independent states Pakistan and India, and later Bangladesh. With this collection, Ghosh said in an interview with the »New York Times« that he wanted to show young readers in particular the consequences of partition. »This astounding collection of talent from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh examines the human need for something other than what history and its makers dictate«, praised US illustrator Joe Sacco, pioneer of modern comic reporting. The collection, he added, is »beautiful, moving and unforgettable«. Till recently, Ghosh also publishes weekly cartoons on current political issues in the »Full Toss« section initiated by him in »The Hindustan Times«. In addition to this, many of his cartoons have been published in magazines and anthologies in India and abroad. Ghosh has worked together on many occasions with other comic artists across the globe. With the Pao Collective, for example, of which he is co-founder, he has published several collections of short stories.

The »Comics Journal« described Ghosh as an »original and talented comic illustrator with a serious interest in social matters«, who also knows how to mobilise people as an editor and political activist. He is one of the co-founders of the Inverted Commas initiative, which helps social campaigns in their publicity work using comics. Ghosh lives in New Delhi.