This Bengal Artist is Using Songs and Paintings to Raise Awareness on Coronavirus

A Patachitra on the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic by artist Swarna Chitrakar from West Bengal has become the latest in the list of art forms being used to create awareness on the pandemic. Patachitra is a folk art that uses oral and visual storytelling techniques like paintings and songs to deliver a social message and create awareness.

Using characters wearing PPE suits and a red monster as the coronavirus, Chitrakar, has given a detailed narrative on the pandemic that has brought the world to a halt, the Indian Express reported. The Patachitra storytelling uses paintings in vertical frames and the storyteller, Patuas, present the story via songs.

For her work on coronavirus pandemic, Chitrakar has used a seven-frame scroll and composed a song on the origin of virus and the problems it has created across the world. She also talks about the contribution of the heath workers and medical professionals who are at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic.

“It took me about 15 days to write the lyrics, compose the song and paint the scroll,” Chitrakar was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. The magnitude of the problem and the pain it has caused to the people, compelled the artists to raise the awareness. The seven-minute-long songs talks about the pandemic, steps taken to control the situation and how the lockdown avoided the situation from going out of hand.

Chitrakar was scheduled to travel to the US when the pandemic clutched the globe, but the plan was shelved as countries imposed lockdowns to arrest the spread of the virus. Her daughters have been thankful for the travel plan to have been cancelled saying that she wouldn’t have been allowed back to the village.