Dickens 2012

Sketches By Boz : Sketching the City

‘Illustrative of every-day life and every-day people…’

Charles Dickens was the first novelist of the industrial city; a writer who strove to document and capture the human impact of the rapid expansion of his native city London. As an emerging writer, Dickens made his name and developed his skills through the sketch: a short narrative depicting a distinctive character that emerges from the hubbub of the city.

Under the pseudonym of ‘Boz’ Charles Dickens began his ‘first attempts at authorship’ in 1836 as he wandered around London capturing snippets and snapshots of London. He captured the stillness and calm on the London roads at dawn, he sneaks to the backstage limits of a London theatre, witnesses a pick-pocketing scene in a crowded street and describes in profound detail the daily commute on a regular omnibus.

As part of the global celebrations for Dickens 2012, the British Council will connect with the modern legacy of his work as a young man- social realist writing and street photography and illustration, art forms which show the characters who live in the rapidly changing cities of today including: Karachi, Beijing, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Baku, New York and more.

Click here to find out how graphic novelist Zara Slattery kicked off the project in London.

In Argentina writer Richard T Kelly and writer/illustrator Woodrow Phoenix held workshops in Buenos Aires, click here to find out more.

In Azerbaijan a creative photography workshop was held by photographer Sue Parkhill, to discover more click here

China organised a creative writing and an online photography competition, for more information click here

In Pakistan a creative writing competition was held and winners were invited to a creative writing workshop with Muneeza Shamsie and Kate Pullinger, click here to find out more.

Singapore organised a creative writing competition in association with The Arts House, to discover more click here

In Ukraine illustrator and comic book artist Luke Pearson held a graphic novel workshop, for more information click here

The USA organised a multidisciplinary arts competition in New York in association with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, click here to find out more.

Additonal projects are being held across the next few months in Greece, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. More information will be available upon their completion.