For the creation of a theatrical production that explores the position of women, roles of women characters and streevesha (female impersonation) within the male-dominated practice of Yakshagana. Drawing from research and personal experience, the performance imagines a reversal of roles in the popular Yakshagana plot of Draupadi Vastrapaharana, thereby exploring the conflicts around tradition, gender, power and morality inherent in the form. The performance is scheduled to premiere in Udupi in November 2015.
For analysing the phenomenon of the emergence of satellite television in the 1990s, which was a crucial factor in Kerala’s social life. By exploring the cultural history of the Malayalam satellite channel Asianet, the project attempts to understand how television is instrumental in refashioning the modern political subject in post-colonial contexts. The outcome will be a monograph.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Afrah’s research will culminate in a series of short videos that will portray stories of resistance of women in the nineteenth century, loosely themed around ‘Women and Impudence/Cheeky Girls’.
For research into India’s disparate botanical art traditions, focusing on four colonial botanical texts ranging from the seventeenth-century Hortus Indicus Malabaricus to the nineteenth-century Flora Indica. The research will involve matching the texts with what exists in the gardens, and making visible the unnamed indigenous botanical artists of Company paintings as well as the variations in botanical iconography across diverse print media: engravings, watercolours, and lithographs. This research is part of a larger project to document an Indian botanical ‘Ark-ive’ or a visual genealogy of botanical arts traditions on the printed page. The outcome will be a website.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Vishwajyoti will visually reinterpret some of the moral science textbooks from nineteenth-century India with the visuals and popular iconography of that era to form a new body of work.
For research into the diverse constructions and reinventions of the Ramayana epic with specific focus on seven performance traditions and two contemporary reinterpretations. The project seeks to provide a textured and contextual study of the various manifestations of the epic within specific ritual, social and performative contexts. The outcomes will include a series of presentations and an essay.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Sujaan will trace the two-century-old history of tourism in Calcutta and focus on the ways in which the city has been represented by and for the ‘outsider’. The outcome could take various forms such as a curated guided tour, a guidebook, and a digital map that represents the different histories of Calcutta’s heritage.
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 into the history and development of the 200-year-old Doddata performance tradition in Karnataka by tracing how it changed in response to influences from the Parsi theatre and subsequently, the Company theatre traditions.
For a performance around the life and works of eminent Kannada writer Masti Venkatesha Iyengar. The performance will begin with a walk starting on the road in Gavipuram that is named after the writer, continue into Gandhi Bazaar and culminate at Bugle Rock near the Basavanagudi Club with a play devised from short stories written by Masti.
For the production of a series of films and the curation of workshops and screenings through which a group of ten to fifteen young filmmakers will be trained to create site-specific moving image content. The objective is to generate audio-visual imagery that explores the cinematic form and engages the cultural, political and historical context of Assam from a location grounded within the region, dispelling the prevalent myth of the Northeast as peripheral within a national context.
For research, documentation and a workshop with a group of young Warli artists to study the impacts of various influences including Christianisation on their work, thereby tracing the developments of Warli art in the present context. The project seeks to critique existing frameworks and explore new ways to write about and curate tribal art in India.
For a series of six performance art interventions on the streets of Basavanagudi and Hanumantnagar. Each performance will engage with the characteristic features of the city – its history, its colours and its people – in an attempt to examine questions about the artist’s roots and identity.
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.