Argha Manna is a cancer researcher turned comics artist from India. He explores the historical perspectives of scientific development and social issues through the lenses of an artist and a researcher both, which bridges the gap between academic research and visual storytelling.
‘Famine Tales from India and Britain’ in collaboration with the University of Exeter and British Library is one of his significant projects, in which Argha created a metafiction to bring the archival materials related to the Great Bengal Famine, 1770 (most devastating famine in the history of the Indian subcontinent) into life through comics. Alongside, as a visual consultant of the CoFUTURE project (University of Oslo and Values in Design Laboratory, UC Irvine), Argha is writing a comics book on Ant Network Theory, Co-evolution and planetarity. His other notable projects are ‘Indian Women in Science’ (in collaboration with Sci-Illustrate, Munich), ‘Climate Change Challenge’ (in collaboration with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad), and ‘Archives of the Earth’ (in collaboration with Dr. Amelia Bone, University of Hiedelberg).
The advent of the ongoing pandemic made him interested in the history of infectious disease research. Since the last year, he has been experimenting with Prof. Lydia Bourouiba, MIT to translate the complex science of fluid dynamics of disease transmission into comics, and developing teaching tools to bridge the knowledge gap in public domain about infectious disease transmission. Their collaborative effort has already been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and has got featured in the Graphic Medicine-The Best of 2020 list (JAMA).
Argha is clear that the story cannot be contained in words alone. There will be plenty of visuals in the story, in order possibly to interest the competent lay reader. His philosophy of storytelling is simple and clear. It has to be a blend of text, images, and comics. Argha’s view on the storytelling of the history of science through art and comics has been featured in Nature India.
Argha lives in Howrah, a small town in the eastern Indian province of West Bengal, near Kolkata, with his wife and son.
You can reach Argha through mail: email@example.com
Argha is active in social media. Reach him at Facebook, tweeter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Prof. Geoffrey C. Bowker, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Oslo University
Prof. Ayesha Mukherjee, University of Exeter, UK
Dr. Amelia Bonea, Center for Transcultural Studies – Heidelberg University
Dr. Somdatta Karak, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB, Hyderabad)
Radhika Patnala, Sci Illustrate
My venture at the interphase of history, science, and art has got featured in Nature India, 29 June 2019.
I have been awarded as STEMPeers Fellow 2019. Under the fellowship, I will create Science-History comics for various platforms of STEMPeers. In parallel, the grant will be utilized partly to develop a project named “Science in the City: Science in colonial Calcutta, a visual story”.