For the creation of a body of photographic works centred on the men of Poompuhar in south Tamilnadu. Drawing from the descriptions of lives and landscape of Poompuhar in the ancient Tamil epic Silappadikaram, this project involves revisiting the town in an attempt to explore questions around identity and territory and provide a contemporary visual interpretation of the epic. The outcome of this grant will be a photo exhibition in Poompuhar. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be digital copies of the photographs and still and video documentation of the process and the exhibition.
For the creation of a musical performance based on notions of Manipuri identity embedded in the literature and folklore of the Meitei community, particularly that of its diaspora, spread across Assam, Bangladesh and Tripura. Through extensive field trips and interviews, the project will explore migration histories, stories and songs of the Meitei community to understand constructions and erasures of identity both within and outside of Manipur. The performance seeks to generate fresh perspectives into the current socio-political landscape of the state. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be an audio CD, documentation from the field trip, stills and video recordings of the premiere performance. Grant funds will pay for honorarium, travel and living, professional fees, a premiere show, studio hire, documentation, production of a CD, research material, and an accountant’s fee.
For a support towards the production of a theatre piece titled Muktidham written in Hindi, based on the history of conflict between Buddhism and Hinduism in 8th century. The play enquires into the complex relationships between religion, power, politics, caste and patriarchy. The production will be the outcome of the grant. Grant funds will pay for honorarium, professional fees, purchase of materials, travel, equipment and space rentals, publicity and an accountant’s fee.
For research into the notions of gender and identity, with specific reference to gender testing in the field of athletics. Through detailed interviews and study, this research will aim to gather a nuanced understanding of gender as a spectrum rather than a binary, challenging accepted modes of identity. The outcome of this grant will be a broad structure for a play and a possible script. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the play structure.
For support towards the study of the history of Bengali posters from 1930s to the present time. The project aims to understand the political, social, cultural and aesthetic parameters of the posters and their transformations over the years. The outcomes of the grant will be a book, essays and collectible prints of old posters. Grant funds will pay for honorarium, travel, photocopy, photography, transcription, materials, publishing and an accountant’s fee.
For the creation of a performance based on the abhangs - devotional poetry dedicated to the deity Vithoba - of women warkari 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 on the role played by progressive theatre in Haryana, through the work of the Haryana Gyan Vigyan Samiti, in the struggle for the freedom of expression of women over the past forty years. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For a foundation-administered project that supports research into the history, evolution and current musical practice of the Mir musicians of Rajasthan. Through field trips and intensive interactions, this study seeks to analyse the geographical, historical and socio-political confluences, continuities, fissures and divergences in the recent decades that have impacted the trajectories of the music of the Mirs. The outcome of this project will be an essay.
For research into the work of the Wancho Literary Mission in Arunachal Pradesh towards the development and propagation of the Wancho script. The outcome of this project will be a video of the documented material.
For working with the collections of ‘Mann Maps’ at the Kalakriti Archives in Hyderabad, Telangana. The Kalakriti Archives house the largest collection of maps in India. Sirisha will conduct research on these maps of Hyderabad city commissioned by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1908 after the devastating floods in the city, which were created under the supervision of Leonard Munn, the chief inspector of mines under the Nizam regime. The study proposes to use the survey maps as tools to explore the non-physical aspects of the city’s topography. Using landscape as text, and oral histories, the project will provide insights into the social and cultural geographies of particular neighbourhoods in the city. The outcomes could include a series of events like lectures, discussions, workshops, and a paper. She will also think of organising ‘city walks’ in select areas of the city.
For research on the evolution and cultural significance of the handmade Axomiya Gohona (jewellery) of Assam and the rise of the new jewellery industry in the region. The project examines the various shifts in the designs, aesthetics and presentations of the jewellery over time and the contentious relationship between rural labour and the urban market place. The outcome will be a monograph.
For a series of exhibitions of photographs of veteran Jatra artists taken during an earlier IFA supported project by Soumya Sankar Bose, across five remote areas of West Bengal where Jatra artists still live. This will enable the photographer to take his work back to the community and create conversations around the lives of veteran Jatra artists. The outcome of the project will be the exhibitions.
For research into four performative practices of the Char-Chapori Muslims of lower Assam namely, Lathibari, Naukhela, Gasshi Rati and Kobi Bayati. The project aims to explore the history of these cultural practices in the light of historical, political and religious pressures that have often questioned their legitimacy in the region. The outcome of the grant will be a set of four films.
For working with the Assam State Museum, which was founded by the Kamrupa Anusandhan Samiti in 1940 and was taken over by the Government of Assam in 1953. Currently, the museum has 14 galleries with a collection of over 15,000 objects from the region. This fellowship to Desire Machine Collective supports the creation of a new discourse around the museum and its collection. The project aims to ‘de-colonise’ the cultural memory in the museum and open up the space for popular and indigenous knowledges, re-imagining Assam both in its geographical and historical construct, as a link that connects South with Southeast Asia. The outcome will be a series of events around objects from the entire collection in the museum throughout the year including artistic interventions, installations, exhibitions, workshops, presentations, talks and video screenings.
For research that traces the manners in which the Shi’a community in contemporary India deploys the Panja or the Fatima’s Hand, as part of a larger collection of visual and material artifacts, to show veneration for the Prophet Muhammad’s family during Muharram in Dongri and Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai, within the context of various debates on iconoclasm within Islam. The outcome of this project will be a book.