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The Storyboard Collective


Select illustrations and members of The Storyboard Collective.

Artist's statement

Reserved is a graphic narrative that unravels through an intergenerational conversation depicting the struggle of fishworker women of Kerala in the late 1970s and the younger generation of 2020.


This tale brings together the former’s struggle for access to public transport owing to the ‘smell’ of fish; and the latter’s struggle living through the pandemic. The lesser documented women fishworkers’ fierce struggle in South Kerala who were not allowed to board the state transport buses with their daily catch owing to the ‘smell’ of fish and the stigma associated with it. This affected their livelihood as they were not in a financial position to hire their own vehicle and reach the market 10-15kms away from the coastal area.


This iconic story of resistance is shown through the eyes of one the women who was part of the struggle, the grandmother in the story. The usage of vibrant colours for the past and the grim black and blue for the present is an artistic choice to represent the past and present and what it entails for the characters during the course of the conversation. Smell is the recurrent motif in the story as it becomes a marker of identity, a point of discrimnation, memory and hope. 

About the artist

A collective of researchers, illustrators and digital artists who are passionate about issues of climate change, development induced displacement, gender and structures of inequality.

Devika graduated from Hansraj College University of Delhi with a degree in Zoology and is currently pursuing Integrated phd in Biology from IISER Pune. She was passionate about art from a very young age and has ever since nurtured this talent. Initially she was fascinated with portraits and capturing emotions but her education in natural sciences led to an appreciation of nature in her art. At Hansraj she was an active member in the Fine Arts as well as Creative writing societies and thoroughly enjoy collaborative art. She has had her works published in reputed magzines and websites. Her works can be accessed via the instagram Id: @strokes_and_verses. She believes that art can simplify even the most complex ideas in science and wishes to share her knowledge through this medium to the general public. Thus she wishes to actively pursue science communication in the future.


Gopika is a recent graduate from the department of Sociology, Miranda House. She holds a keen interest in drawing, creative writing and reading. Sociology as a discipline helped her wrap her head around different and oftentimes conflicting perspectives. In her first year she was an active part of the art society and the creative writing club at Miranda House. Although the pandemic halted the campus life for the majority of students, on good days,  she utilized the lockdown to dwell into the intersection of two of her major interests in life, art and sociology. She had her illustration works published with reputable research institutes, websites, international exhibitions and as book/magazine covers. Her illustrations are on display on the Instagram handle @colourfulcharcoal. She was also part of the editorial board of one of Delhi University’s first student-led art magazines, Parcha. She would love to pursue sociology of art in the coming years and sociologically analyze the unique ability of art to inspire social change.

Sidra is a post graduate in Sociology from Delhi University, currently freelancing as a researcher and an illustrator. She is passionate about working on projects from and for the marginalised communities with an emphasise on visual and oral traditions/cultures and documenting stories. She began her freelance career as an artist since her undergraduate years in Delhi and is grateful for the student community and various organisations and movements for exposure into art and being able to chanel her work into what is useful for the society. She hopes to learn and grow in this path. 

Aswathy is a researcher, translator and media enthusiast who has been engaging with natural resource based struggles over the years. She has a doctorate in English which documents and analyses the evolution of comic strip in relation with the magazine reading culture of Kerala. She has worked with the Campfire Graphic Novel publishing house as an Editor developing graphic adaptations of classic texts and original biographies. Currently she is the South Asia Network Organiser of Break Free From Plastic, a membership based organisation that envisions a plastic free future that engages with groups that works on environmental protection and social justice, and work together through a holistic approach in order to bring about systemic change.


Script and research | Aswathy Senan
Illustrations | Sidra Ali, Devika Babu, Gopika Babu
Layout and design | Akdham
Lettering | Ubitha Leela
Dialect consultant | Vipin Das

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