Cartooning and illustrating, for Angela Ferrāo, is about highlighting a subject, which a person would not have otherwise understood or paid attention to or perhaps could be de-sensitised about.
Getting ready for her first solo exhibition, titled 'The Uninvited', to be held in December in Panjim, Angela says her works shine a light on what’s happening in Goa vis-à-vis tourism and development.
"It’s a Goan perspective and a reaction to tourism and other things happening in Goa and how it will affect us, Goans," says Angela. "With the kind of so-called development taking place in Goa, one has to comment on it, and I am doing it in my own small way."
This will be Angela's first solo exhibition, which is a culmination of her work till now, she says.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the comic book, The Uninvited Host: Goa and the Parties not Meant for its People, written by Dr R Benedito Ferrāo in which she has done the illustrations, and which she says was the catalyst for the exhibition. The book will also be launched at the exhibition.
The title of her exhibition ‘The Uninvited’ is very interesting. She says the title refers to the position of the hapless Goans, who often find themselves not really benefitting from the umpteen events and parties taking place in their own land.
"Where does the Goan stand in it?” she asks, "Where do the trickle down effects reach the Goan, who is usually the uninvited guest in his own place, and is left to clean up after the party is over?"
She adds, "These are clearly my observations, over the years."
"Where are the opportunities for the Goan youth to develop skills further?" she asks referring to the ample talent and creativity among Goan youth. “We must use every opportunity to promote our own local talent."
IMPORTANCE OF A CARTOONIST
Angela, who hails from Siolim, started out as an animator, and has worked with several multimedia in instructional design, in Bombay (now Mumbai), shuttling to and from Goa. However, after the Covid-19 pandemic, she stayed on in Goa, working as an editorial cartoonist before becoming an independent cartoonist.
"News is reported. But many times, people don't get it. As a cartoonist, I highlight it by paying attention to the plight of others. And by doing so, I add my voice to it. Often, subjects are serious, but I like to put humour to it – it could be dark humour," says Angela.
MYTH OF SUSSEGAD GOENKAR
Angela's works contradict the popular understanding of what the sussegad Goenkar is. She says it’s a myth that Goans are lazy or simply content with what is happening in their land."
And, it’s this robust Goan who is Angela's constant muse. "The local Goan is my inspiration," she says. She believes, "Goans are not lazy. We won't take things lying down. Land is very dear to us. We are an agrarian society and land is very important to us. Our land mass is small and we can't sustain commercialisation."
Ask her for her comments on the nature of Goan readers, and she replies after much thought, "It's a mixed bag. They tend to go towards what they want to hear and read. But, they are well aware and sharp on what's happening."
What are her future plans? "I am already in the future," says Angela. "I don't want to procrastinate working on the books I wish to write," she says on a concluding note.
For more infomation on Angela Ferrao, check out https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns/
Angela Ferrao's exhibition ‘The Uninvited’ will open on December 7, 2023 (at 6 pm) at Panjim Pousada (Gallery Gitanjali), Fontainhas, Panjim.