Khoj Vigyapan Workshop

Creating an ad campaign with the youth of Khirki.
Khirki Vigyapan Workshop
Khirki, New Delhi, India
Friday, 3 August 2012 - Sunday, 5 August 2012
Shraddha Uday B... and Khirkee Youth

The three day workshop with the youth of Khirki addressed the clash of consumersim with a culturally insulated environment village of Khirki. The objective of this workshop is to encourage young minds to critically engage with media through the process of creating an advertising campaign for Khirki Masjid.

Khoj Vigyapan Workshop

Khirki Masjid is a 14th Century dilapidated mosque in the middle of Khirki village a small rural pocket abutting Saket Mall in New Delhi. A three day workshop, starting 3rd August, addresses the clash of cosumersim with a culturally insulated environment village in the Khoj Vigyapan (Media Literacy) Workshop.

During the weekend workshop, an ad campaign about Khirki Masjid will be created by the children of Khirki. Through independent and group assignments the participants will learn how to elevate the qualities of the mosque beyond its true self to create a good campaign. The exercises in the curriculum will be similar to the processes followed in an advertising agency - taking photographs, using concepts sheets and copywriting.The aim is to create a billboard quality product that are seen in and around Khirki.

Oral culture, memory and record

Throughout this exercise, the participants will speak to the village elders and bring back stories of the masjid; personal, historical and mythical to the drawing board. These stories will help in creating the ‘brand’ Khirki, simultaneously, unfolding forgotten stories, anecdotes and revelations about the neglected structure; perhaps revive the community's interest in it.

Workshop Schedule

Day 1

Friday, 3 August, 2012

  1. Discussion on what is advertising. Look and discuss ads.
  2. Look at ads featuring Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar for references on architectural photography and monument advertising.
  3. Process of print ads- sketch to execution. Team work of art director, copywriter and photographer.
  4. Make groups to start the process. Start by photographing Khirki Mosque.
  5. Discuss concept sheet.

Day 2

Saturday, 4 August, 2012

  1. Share stories and anecdotes about Khirki mosque.
  2. Discuss slogans and catch lines for the ad banner/poster.
  3. Photographs and slogans to be made on concept sheet.
  4. Photograph the mosque with respect to the stories and concepts discussed.

Day 3

Sunday, 5 August, 2012

  1. Give final touches to the campaign on Photoshop.
  2. Print the posters.
  3. Put the posters all over in Khirki and neighbouring areas.

Workshop Journal

Vigyaapan Poster Workshop was a three-day media literacy workshop, which took place in Khirki Masjid and Khoj Studio. In this didactic endeavor the kids were given the challenge to create an ad campaign on their very own Khirki Masjid with the help of professional cameras and a session in Photoshop. The objective was to interact with this neglected structure in order to elevate it beyond its drawbacks, just like the false representations in many commercials.

On the first day, the children were shown many examples of advertisements. They were taught to observe the way in which the professional imagery manipulates the subject’s representation to suit a certain selling point of the product. They were given concept sheets to plot their own ideas for their campaigns accordingly and then on the next day they shot the Masjid with a Canon 5 D Mark II.

During this three-day session, the children brought back well crafted concept sheets. The younger children chose to represent the mosque in a more literal fashion. Whereas, the older kids wrote slogans like “The Brand New Khirki Masjid”. Owing to the short duration of this workshop, some children who had brought back their concept sheets did not come for the photo session, therefore, it was a big mix of authors appropriating the original concepts of their friends. Yet throughout the workshop they got to exercise their imaginations to the full extent because we were making an ad campaign after all. And Photoshop helped us cross many visual boundaries.

On the last day we spent most of our time on the computer, downloading the images, editing, heavily retouching and changing colors etc. The kids learnt how to use the clone stamp to remove imperfections, stitch images together as well as explore various fonts that were befitting to the various concepts.

In the end we had 5 strong ad campaigns which were astonishingly witty, elaborate and visually pleasing. We were all very proud of our achievements considering the short duration in which these ideas were mapped out, photographed and designed.

The location of Khirki village being a small rural pocket abutting the enormous Select City Mall was the primary reason for conducting a workshop of this sort with its young residents. I was interested in disrupting the illusion of the aggressive commercial signage on the mall and its fast encroaching capitalist culture, in the minds of the kids. If the kids knew how to make a campaign themselves by fabricating truth with the use of expensive technology, then they would read the billboards across the street with a more subjective and critical eye. Apart from this objective, the final campaigns helped the children express their feelings about the Masjid, which is neglected, and abused by some older residents. Hopefully, these campaigns will help the community rethink its true value as a recreational place.

Shraddha Borakawe

August 2012