For research towards production and dissemination across six tier B cities of a performance piece, tentatively titled ‘Notes on Chai’. The performance will explore the idea of the quotidian in everyday life, by combining realistic character-based pieces with abstract sounds.
For research towards a curatorial project exploring the history of early sound and sound technology through archival research and interviews, as well as artistic collaborations between the researcher and a Bombay-based curator, artists, sound recordists, sound theorists, musicians, linguists, researchers and writers whose practices contribute to an understanding of sound ecologies in India.
For research at various archives of science and astronomy and at Jain religious archives in India leading to a multi-part art project titled The Weather Inside Me. The project will trace the history of science, weather and solar observations in India from pre-colonial to post-colonial times. The religious archives will be referenced to investigate the centrality of the sun in Jainism and its resulting impact on time and memory in our lives.
For the sturdy of vintage educational film footage the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) archives, produced as part of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) programme. This programme was established by NASA and ISRO in 1975-76 to impart a ‘modern and scientific outlook to rural India’. The fellowship outcome will be a symposium and, subject to availability of further funding from other sources, a film using the found footage.
For turning the performance script S*x, M*rality and Cens*rship, which was developed with the help of an earlier research grant from IFA, into a stage production. The script specifically looks at at the censorship battles fought over the play Sakharam Binder and the audience and critical responses to the production. Audio and video material secured during the research phase will be incorporated in the envisaged docudrama to recreate the cultural context of the 1970s.
For researching and photo-documenting the tambu talkies (tent cinemas) that follow the route of the religious jatras (fairs) in Maharashtra. The history of the tambu talkies will be constructed by mapping the film distribution cycle and exhibition patterns, gathering old photographs and documents, and recording oral histories of the proprietors and distributors of the tambu talkies. Photo-documentation will capture the current state of the touring tent cinemas, covering such aspects as the audience profile, the ingenious projection systems and the innovative advertising strategies.
For research into the life of Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam and the events, characters and art philosophies that led to his untimely death in Japan. The researcher will identify appropriate areas of arts discourse for reading and analysis, and will travel to interview various individuals who have played significant roles in Jangarh Singh Shyam’s life. The research will subsequently provide the basis for a novel.
For preparatory research towards a screenplay for a feature-length film on Hindi writer Nirmal Verma. Through in-depth historical research on Verma’s European period, study of Verma’s published and unpublished writings, interviews with individuals who played significant roles in Verma’s life, the researcher will extend his literary knowledge of Nirmal Verma into a cinematic language.
For development of Family Tree, a film installation for public space.Family Tree will explore the psychological consequences of migration, especially loneliness, melancholy and the emotional turbulence caused by life and work in alien surroundings. The installation will attempt to deform the concept of the family tree in order to consider 21st century family lives, which are dynamic and constantly in motion.
For the dissemination of Cotton 56, Polyester 84, a theatre production set in the mill lands of Mumbai. This production is the outcome of an earlier IFA grant and brings to light issues concerning the lives of the mill workers of Girangaon who lost their jobs en masse as a result of the textile strike in Mumbai in the 1980s. To fulfil the play’s artistic and political agenda, twenty performances of the play will be staged for working classes, primarily in Mumbai and other places in Maharashtra, in order to provoke new ideas and perceptions about their own identity and position in today’s world.