Villagers running away as shadows of skyscrapers intrude into their natural rural space

Originally created for a group show of posters titled Invasions (held at Palm Court gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, in May 2003), this illustration touches on the issues of modernisation and urbanisation. It depicts them as strong, complex and intimidating forces in contrast to the simplicity, earthiness and charm of rural or village life.

Rapidly expanding cities the world over put pressure on and assimilate surrounding rural areas, changing age-old ways of life in the process. Better economic opportunities, facilities and a modern or progressive life also lure rural folk to urban areas. Many are forced to migrate to cities owing to difficult circumstances like natural calamities, regional inequalities and social evils. Most urban areas have their own set of problems however and some who migrate to them end up doing menial jobs, live in poor conditions and even get exploited. As one of the most striking phenomenon on Earth, urbanisation perhaps reveals that change — by choice, by force or by design — is very much a part of human life.

(The rural portion of this illustration has been rendered in Warli folk art style, which is Mayank’s favourite. Texture of scratches on skyscraper shadows courtesy GraphicsFuel.)