For working with the Archaeology Museum in Deccan College, Pune, which has a rich collection of antiquities and specimens, sourced from excavations and explorations carried out across India over the decades. This fellowship supports a series of public events around the museum collections, with the intention of making the museum a social space—one that will encourage people to think, talk, communicate, meet, learn, and enjoy. This will also be supported by a strong online presence. The outcome will include an experiential exploration of some of the museum galleries, a series of interactive events designed for audiences of different age-groups, an exhibition, talks, and an online presence that will aim to create a virtual community. The Fellow’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be images of the process, audio/video recordings, texts, and a publication, if any.
For the creation of a performance based on the abhangs - devotional poetry dedicated to the deity Vithoba - of women warikari saints of Maharashtra. Through intensive travel and research, this project seeks to interpret and perform in the public domain, primarily through music, about 10 to 12 poems of the women saints whose works currently exist only as textual documentation. The outcomes will be two music concerts and recordings of the 10 to 12 songs. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be translations of the chosen songs, audio recordings of the studio recorded songs and video documentation of the performances.
For research into the changing practices and ecology of the performance form of Tamasha across Maharashtra. Building on earlier work also supported by IFA, this project entails revisiting, after nearly fifteen years, villages in the Konkan, western and northern Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to document photographically the cumulative impact of socio-political and economic forces on the art form and the lives of its performers. The outcome of this project will be photographs with field notes.
For the creation of a production based on a Marathi script titled ‘Flat Number F-1/105’. Through active collaborations among the director, actors and the playwright, the performance seeks to address issues around identity through a reflection on the aesthetic and political perceptions of ‘colour’.
For the editing, designing and printing of Tamasha: Ek Rangadi Gamat, a book in Marathi on the Tamasha folk theatre form. The book––one of the outcomes of an IFA-supported documentation project––will contain about 250 photographs accompanied by text that describes the different forms of Tamasha prevalent in Maharashtra as well as the lifestyles of its performers.
For research into the history of Marathi Farce in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The project will take into the account the social critique implicit in this form of theatre, as well as study female impersonation which was a characteristic of all Marathi theatre of this period. The research will lead to the writing of a monograph, translations of two Farces, and the creation of an archive of documents on the subject.
For research towards a manual on bamboo toy-making for middle- and high-school children, to be published in Marathi and English. Another component of the research would be workshops and teacher training programmes for schools in Pune district.
For photographic documentation of the folk theatre form Tamasha in rural and small-town Maharashtra. The project will generate a ‘cultural biography’ of Tamasha and a visual record of its entire repertoire, as well as a series of photographic exhibitions in Maharashtra.
For research into the life and art of folk musician Mahender Misir and his peers and predecessors. Through them the project will explore the cultural history of the Bhojpuri-speaking region of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh during the last century, and will result in books as well as a musical play on the life of Mahender Misir.