For the dissemination of Bishar Blues, a film on music and deeply spiritual everyday life of the fakirs of Bengal. The project will use the film to pen a dialogue between the misunderstood and mistrusted fakirs and the larger community in rural West Bengal, and stimulate discussion on marginal cultures through a seminar/screening in Kolkata.
For the production of a film on Koothu-p-pattarai (KPP), a pioneering theatre group in Tamil Nadu. Video recordings of KPP’s activities over the last fifteen years will be complied, interreted and edited to capture the evolution of a very particular syntax of experimental theatre, the tensions within the group and the changes it has witnessed. Fresh footage will also be shot to illustrate KPP’s present character and highlight viewpoints critical of the group’s artistic vision and accomplishments.
For research into comic book culture in India towards developing a script/storyboard for a video or comic book. The relationship between the mediums of film, painting and comic books will be explored through a combination of research, video documentation and making of an art work.
For research into the origin and development of science pedagogy in Bengali. Covering popular science articles in Bengali, ‘science jokes’ heard on college campuses, topics selected for doctoral dissertations and the presence of Russian textbooks in syllabi, the study will result in the creation of three or four artist’s books, a series of short text-and-image narratives, and a website.
For the theatrical adaptation of a twenty four-line Bengali poem, which is based on the Mughal emperor Babur’s prayer for the revival of his sick son and the poet’s own grief over his daughter’s illness, and makes a strong statement against the organised killing of the young, war, terrorism and genocide. The production—imagined as a montage interweaving events from different times and places—will make innovative use of lighting, space design, character movement and a chorus.
For the digitisation of 46,000 Bengali little magazines and the preparation of an open-access Internet archive. The project will make this valuable collection more accessible and expand the available resources for researchers. It will also help raise the library’s public profile and connect it to other institutions working with technology to make cultural resources available in the public domain.
For updating and digitising a database on performance spaces in Karnataka. The updated database will contain information on the location of each space, the nature of its stage and auditorium, its seating capacity, rental details, spatial dimensions, the types of other spaces attached to it, and equipment available. The database will be available to theatre groups, students of theatre and research scholars on a CD and will eventually be uploaded onto a website.
For the publication of a book that documents the history of print advertising in the Bengali language, analysing its various forms and modes, and the media through which it was displayed and printed. The book will also catalogue commercial artists and their contribution to text and visual, and the impact of advertising on the material culture of Bengali households and patterns of consumption. In addition, a visual archive of over 3,000 documents will be made available on the Internet to trigger further research in the area.
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 the making of a film exploring the cultural history of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim through the sacred dance theatre of Chham. The film will examine this ritual dance as it shapes and is shaped by its religious and cultural contexts, as well as the mutations in its traditional meanings through modernity and education. Titled The Listener’s Tale, the film seeks to be a witness to the contradictions and counter-forces that sustain this ancient art practice, the plurality of meanings it generates, and the active dialogue between the consciousness of the performers of Chham and its spectators.
For the making of a film on Surabhi, a 120-year old travelling theatre company from Andhra Pradesh. Envisaged as a journey with the repertory company, the film, titled Mayabazar, will examine the everyday activities of these travelling actors and their families, rehearsals, exercises, the staging of the plays based on the epics and the puranas, the audience, sets, make-up and costume design. The film will also explore the traces of Parsi theatre, silent cinema from the Phalke era and the paintings of Ravi Verma in the design of the theatre company’s sets and costumes.
For creation of a production on ‘The Hare and Tortoise’, which will combine theatre and shadow puppetry. Through constant improvisations and experiments with the puppets, a script––which also looks at other famous races and a few imagined ones, with characters from Indian epics as also from other cultures––will be further developed and layered. Members of the theatre group will also train under resource persons from various traditional forms to develop the content of the production.
For creation of a theatre production that will bring to light the suppressed history, subculture and marginalised lives of the mill workers of Mumbai, who lost their jobs en masse as a result of the textile strike in the 1980s. The mill workers once exercised a very strong influence on Mumbai’s culture but their plight has largely been ignored in the raging public debate and legal battles over the future development of the mill lands. The production will be shown to mainstream audiences as well as working class communities in the mill lands area and elsewhere.
For four art historians to identify, edit and annotate critical writing––in Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi respectively––on the visual arts in the first half of the twentieth century. The resulting selections will be published with the aim of reintroducing to a contemporary audience.
For the development of teaching methods based on the visual arts to improve the character of classroom interactions and enhance the quality of elementary education in Chamarajnagar district, Karnataka. A team of educationists, researchers and art educators will build on the local community’s understanding of the arts and the crafts economy of neighbourhood villages to generate a curriculum and develop new learning and teaching practices. In collaboration with village school teachers, the team will produce a resource book and tool kit to enable teachers to use the visual arts in the classroom.