How does one relate to audio stories? The voice is your guide and imagination your stage. Some find it more engaging than seeing a play enacted because it sets the mind free to create whatever it chooses to, with audio inputs as the only cue.
In a bid to capitalise on this very factor, India’s premier management school for Strategic Marketing and Communications, MICA, donned the pivotal role in producing 24 audio novels on a variety of social issues like compassion fatigue, unschooling, heteronormativity, cyberbullying, cancel culture, start-ups, environmental issues and many more. The voice actors were drawn from its incoming batch of 244 students enrolled with PGP (Post Graduate Program), CCC (Crafting Creative Communication), and FPM (Fellow Program in Management) programmes. The final offing came after a two-week workshop, titled eponymously, “The Audio Novel.”
The workshop exposed its students to script writing, the nitty-gritties of voice recording, background score, how to research social issues, pre and post-production processes. In addition, each student team was mentored by MICA faculty to ensure proper addressing of chosen social issues and storytelling.
The institute also recently hosted an award ceremony with chief guest Dr Bhushan Punani, Founder, Blind People’s Association (BPA). Also present on the occasion were MICA President and Director, Dr Shailendra Raj Mehta, and Senior Advisor and Associate Dean, Dr Banikanta Mishra. As part of the ceremony, the newly released audio novels were e-gifted to Dr Punani, who received them on behalf of BPA. Celebrating the audio novels genre, Dr Punani stated that it is a suitable format for the visually impaired.
CCC student Ritubrata Sharma and his team were placed in the third position for their novel “TV Debates – Legitimised Ruckus.”
Sharing his learnings, CCC student Govind Pillai, noted: “The biggest takeaway came from the fact that six total strangers who think differently were put into a group. What emerged was the product of collective effort, constructive criticism, and careful compromise.” His team worked on the social issue of Hospital Waste Management and bagged the second position.
Kriti Dwivedi, whose audio-novel Baat Pakki bagged the first position, stated: “We discovered how to structure our research properly and focus on nuances of sound while editing.” Baat Pakki tells the story of two individuals who wish to enter into a lavender marriage (A marriage of convenience between a male and a female to conceal the socially stigmatized sexual orientation of one or both partners).
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