Saptan Stories
Saptan Stories is a massive crowd sourced story by millions of young people 

On 2 August, 2017, the British Council launched Saptan Stories, a creative project by Aardman Animations, commissioned as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017. It was a first-of-its-kind online campaign bringing together seven celebrated artists and the public to create a story told by millions of Indians. 

As a mass collaborative arts event, Saptan Stories engaged the public to generate a unique crowdsourced short story, interpreted and illustrated by 7 artists from India and the UK. 

The story played out in the form of a giant game of consequences across the digital space and was open to millions of Indians. The first line of the story was written by the Oscar-winning storytellers from Aardman Animations and the audience took over to decide what direction the story took. 

Audiences were invited to participate via the Saptan Stories website where they submitted their ideas for the story line, and voted for a winner each week. The selected line was beautifully illustrated by 7-talented visual artists from India and the UK each week.

Visit the project website to see the final story which was shaped by an online audience across India. 

Key Stats

Social Media Reach: 18M people

97% users were from India in the age group of 18-24 years. 

160K unique users visited the website 

Saptan Stories artists

Adrita Das (India): Mumbai-based illustrator; often found dabbling in religion, dark humour, ethnography, meditative video editing, shaky backstage footage, story-telling for adults and educational games for kids.

Gavin Strange (UK): By day, a Senior Designer for the brilliant Aardman Animations and by night goes under the alias of JamFactory, where he indulges in his passion for side-projects, from filmmaking to toy design, illustration to photography. Gav’s illustrations are colourful, fun and bold. 

Gemma Correll (UK): Cartoonist, writer, illustrator and all-round small person, with  illustration clients including Hallmark, The New York Times, Oxford University Press, Knock Knock, Chronicle Books and The Observer, Gemma’s illustrations are achingly British, addictively funny and invariably feature pugs!!

Janine Shroff (India/UK): Janine’s art is figurative and occasionally surreal. It explores a range of themes including birth, pregnancy, gender. She was born in Mumbai but currently lives and works in London.

Priyesh Trivedi (India): Mumbai’s another gifted artist, who has been storming the art space with his spellbinding and immensely popular Adarsh Balak (Ideal Boy) series of paintings. According to him, art leaves lasting impression on the mind of the viewer than words.

Saloni Sinha (India): An illustrator who day-dreams to ignite her art work. She’s been freelancing for a lot bands for their album covers/logos, comic strips and flyers for music fest & events. Music is a major source of inspiration for this designer from Bengaluru.

Tom Mead (UK): A surreal character designer and fine artist, working traditionally with pen drawings on paper or wood and based in Bristol in the UK. Mead's inspiration comes from his own intense personal fears and inhibitions, which are represented vicariously through mysterious genderless characters. These stem from his childhood fear of humans dressed as animals, He is influenced by dark folk tales, the pop surrealist art scene, horror films, and is a huge fan of anything creepy and otherworldly. 


Saptan Stories 3
The 7 artists from the UK & India who will illustrate a winning line each week 
Opening week line
Opening line for Saptan Stories by Oscar-winning animation studio, Aardman, UK 
Saptan Stories week 3
Saptan Stories Week 3 winning line by Ayan Pal  ©

British Council 

About Aardman 

Oscar® award-winning Aardman animations (Bristol, uk) have been inspiring and nurturing creative talent for over 40 years, you might know them as the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the sheep and chicken run. Aardman’s body of work uses storytelling, humour, painstaking craft and the latest technology to create original entertainment, and share it with the international community.

Neil Pymer, Interactive Creative Director, Aardman, said,


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!  We have no idea where the story is going to go, or how the artists will respond, which is why this project is so special; I can't wait to see how it develops and evolves through the process.

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