Tree Matters

The Bhil people of Central India are amongst the country’s oldest indigenous communities. To them, the natural world is not ‘a thing apart’, but exists in a seamless relationship to their home and the everyday. Gangu Bai, Bhil artist, explores this relationship through her memories and paintings of food, work, festivals, illness, medicine… Her tales centre round trees, and so each of her memories has a tree as its focus. Illustrated in vivid and cheerful colours, the paintings in this book foreground a universe of brightly coloured dots, lines and shapes that encompasses all living beings, big and small and wise and wonderful (Source).

Author(s): Gangu Bai, Gita Wolf, & V. Geetha

Artist Gangu Bai belongs to an indigenous community called Bhil, whose members live in villages across western and central India. Her rich repertoire of stories is steeped in the community’s lore. The award-winning artist has been painting for over two decades, and her work has been exhibited both in India as well as abroad. Gangu works with the National Museum of Mankind in Bhopal (Source).

Gita Wolf started Tara Books as an independent publishing house based in India. An original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, she is known for her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book. She has written over twenty books for children and adults. Several have won major international awards and been translated into multiple languages (Source).

A writer, translator, social historian and activist, V. Geetha is a freelance editor and a leading intellectual from Tamil Nadu, India. She has been active in the Indian women’s movement since 1988, organizing workshops and conferences. Geetha has written widely, both in Tamil and English, on gender, popular culture, caste, and politics (Source).

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