For research towards a film on work songs, known as Li, sung by the inhabitants of Phek village in Nagaland. These work songs and chants have no lyrics but are vocalizations, grunts and sighs that are transformed into polyphonic melodies, while their music makers are busy harvesting paddy. This research is a part of a larger project to document and share everyday music and rhythms from across India.
For the empowerment of students from a government school in the village of Gudadoor in Koppal District, Karnataka, to creatively link their process of learning in the classroom with the local folk-art traditions that they are immersed in. This approach to classroom pedagogy seeks to combat the corrosive influence of popular culture on the ethos of the school.
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 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 research towards the construction of a raft-like structure in collaboration with bamboo artisans and boat-builders in Guwahati and the curation of a journey on the Brahmaputra, during which the raft will function as a mobile, habitable receptacle to gather, share and document stories, songs and local knowledge about food and ecology.
For a three-month workshop to enable six young theatre directors from Assam to develop productions that critically engage with socio-political changes and cultural diversity in the region. Following this, the directors and their teams will tour to present the newly created performances in their respective hometowns and share their theatre-making experience with local audiences.
For research into the history and evolution of public transport in Kerala and the creation of a performance that will be staged on a bus. Engaging with local contexts, histories, literature and the everyday lives of people, the project will employ the bus as a travelling performance space that aims to explore new frameworks for performance and cultivate new audiences.
For a solo, multi-media performance titled Light Does Not Have Arms to Carry Us. Inspired by the structure of richly expressive and percussive piece of music composed for the piano, the project will create a performance combining movement, mime, film and voice.
For the fourth edition of a residency for six emerging choreographers from diverse dance backgrounds and regions. They will work with peers and mentors to develop individual pieces of work, which will be performed for the public at the conclusion of the residency.
For research into the poetry of Malayalam poet Kadamanitta Ramakrishnan and the ritual folk performance form, Padayani, towards the creation of a new performance work. The resulting performance will try to combine Kadamanitta’s lyrics, the rhythms and theatrical expressions of Padayani—which the poet often used to accentuate and embellish his public performances—with the sound of rock, reggae and the blues.
For a series of performance art workshops exploring imaginative processes of performance-making. Held across different cities in the country, these workshops will result in several performance pieces, titled harkats. The performance-making processes along with critical conversations and reflections on performance art will be documented.
For research and documentation of the visual cultures of Northeast India, focusing on contemporary arts practices in Shillong, Guwahati and Silchar. The research will recalibrate the centre-periphery dichotomy that comes into play when engaging with the art history and practices of the Northeast, by looking at the ‘regional modernisms’ in the context of the North-East geographical and cultural affinities with South Asia and South East Asia. The project will result in an online archive, which will function as an alternative resource to supplement currently available pedagogies of art history and criticism.
For research towards a short film and a website on K Ramanujam (1940-1973), an artist who lived and worked in Cholamandal Artists’ Village, an artists’ commune near Chennai. The research will shed light on the nature of his pen and ink drawings of fantasy landscapes and mythical cities, which reveal how his concerns were distinct from those of other artists at Cholamandal at the time. While the website will include documentation gathered from archival materials and interviews with Ramanujam’s contemporaries, the film will be an artistic response to the spirit of Ramanujam’s artwork.
For a drama teacher from the village of Kalghatgi in Dharwad district to create awareness about the social and cultural issues that surround the school and the community, with emphasis on female absenteeism and child marriage.