For research into the social world of the Mumbai film poster, leading to a manuscript. The study will focus on the labour, skills, creative choices and techniques that go into the production of the poster, and its circulation and reception in metros and small towns.
For research into the Dalit painting of the Mithila region of north Bihar. The ensuing monograph will broaden the scope of what is commonly understood as Madhubani or Mithila painting, which has upper caste connotations, by drawing attention to Dalit painting. An exhibition of Mithila paintings is a likely outcome of this project.
For research into the social history of the north Indian folk theatre Nautanki, with a special focus on the role of women. The study will result in a biography of the legendary Nautanki performer Gulab Bai, to be published in Hindi and English.
For research towards a documentary film titled In Search of Umrao, envisaged as a journey through history, memory, physical spaces and forms of cultural expression in pursuit of the tawaif or courtesan of north India.
For documenting the early recording industry and music culture in India. The study will identify the human, intellectual and material artefacts of early music culture and result in a series of essays on the gramophone as well as online sharing of documentation.
For field research into the oral ballads of the Mithila region of north Bihar. The research will result in a databank that would assist researchers by providing information on the content of the ballads and the social context in which they are performed.
For collaboration between a trained actor and a performer of the folk narrative form of Pandavani to absorb aspects of each others’ practice and work with a writer-director to create three performance texts for the theatre, which will culminate in a series of collectively devised performances.
For creating a graphic novel on present-day Calcutta, by a filmmaker and an illustrator, combining elements of a visual travelogue, a documentary comic book and a personal diary. The novel, which will use the personal narrative to explore links between today’s Calcutta and the popular culture of nineteenth-century Bengal, is expected to be serialised in newspapers, and the process of creation will be documented and exhibited.
For research into the history of early photography in Bengal. The study will investigate the use of photography as a social tool by the Bengali urban, upper class to record their changing lifestyles in the latter part of the nineteenth century. It is expected to result in a book that traces this socio-cultural narrative through photographs.
For survey, documentation and technical assessment of the building crafts traditions of Ladakh, Zanskar and the Nubra valley. The project will result in a database and a comprehensive manual of guidelines for building systems in this region, which would help conserve traditional skills and knowledge systems.