Kushi and Komal
Fieldwork for Kushi and Komal
Kushi and Komal is an illustrated children's book that opens a window into the life of Pakhiwas people, their culture, ways of living, and their predicament as one of Pakistan's most marginalised nomadic tribes. Though human rights is the underlying theme, the story emphasises the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Pakhiwas who design and make their homes using found and recycled materials.
I created sketches for the illustrations and gathered materials for their collage in 2019 whilst working as a documentarist for Slumabad School, a mobile education facility for Pakhiwas children in Lahore.
Kushi and Komal has been designed to function as both a storybook and a tool for introducing and teaching fine art and anthropology. It comes with sets of lessons that teach the techniques used to create the illustrations such as life drawing, painting, and collage.
There are also lessons that introduce concepts of applied anthropology, which together with short ethnographic films, encourages immersive understanding of the lifeworld of the people whose story inspired this book.