‘Saptan Stories’ India’s First Ever Crowd-Sourced Digital Arts Project

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British Council launched Saptan Stories in collaboration with Aardman Animations, as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. Saptan Stories was a mass collaborative arts event that engaged the Indian public to generate the first ever crowdsourced short story, interpreted and illustrated by 7 standout artists from India and the UK.

Audiences took part in Saptan Stories online via a brand new website and community hub where they could view activity, find out about the artists, enter their own submissions, and vote for the winning lines each week.

The project inspired creative writing, thinking and participation with a giant game of consequences played out over all of India.

Art work by Jannie Shroff

Oscar® award-winning Aardman Animations – widely celebrated as the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheepand Chicken Run – was selected to develop Saptan Stories.

“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do here at Aardman and we’re truly excited to be working with the British Council and some incredibly talented artists from India and the UK on Saptan Stories.  Creating a collaborative, unique, crowd-sourced story on this scale, over the entire country of India is awe-inspiring as much as its daunting!”, Neil Pymer, Interactive Creative Director, Aardman, shared.

Over seven weeks, the Indian public were invited to submit and vote on storylines for a unique seven-part story, which was illustrated by seven artists from both the UK and India. From the seed of one storyline, seven unique visual stories emerged.

Once the storyline was uploaded to the website, it went through a pre-moderation process to make sure that it does not contain any offensive language or content. Once the storyline was approved, it was reviewed by the panel of judges. Three weekly nominees were shortlisted and displayed for voting every Tuesday.

Artists Adrita Das, Gavin Strange, Gemma Correll, Janine Shroff, Priyesh Trivedi, Saloni Sinha and Tom Mead responded to the unfolding narrative in their own style providing a fascinating insight into their practice and motivations.

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‘Saptan Stories’ India’s First Ever Crowd-Sourced Digital Arts Project