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 designing and conducting a series of workshops for women survivors of the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. The workshops, which will build on the artist’s earlier attempts to integrate art, research and activism, are expected to be a model for how the arts might engage intimately with pertinent social concerns.
For three annual editions of a residency programme for fresh graduates of visual art schools across India, to culminate in three annual exhibitions. Each year, five artists will spend four weeks with an art critic at the Khoj studios in New Delhi, exploring their creativity and engaging with their peers and with senior artists.
For the development of Correlated Objective Music Education and Training (COMET), a three-year professional music-education programme that uses technology to simplify the teaching and learning of music. The grant will also be used to develop short-term music education courses using COMET methodology, and for promotional and fundraising activities that will make the programme self-sustainable.
For putting in place a multi-pronged process to reinvigorate the bhakti and sufi music of the Punjab. Systematic audio documentation bolstered by an innovative marketing strategy—direct sales by the performers in the rural market and online sales from a website—is expected to economically benefit the performers and expand their audience.
For identifying indigenous documentation methodologies and translating Malayalam folklore into English. An art historian working closely with a folk group will study the pernicious implications of the caste system on the future of ritual performance. The group will also interact with a similar community based in Chattisgarh.
For conducting theme-based museum education workshops for junior- and middle-school children in eight schools in Kolkata with a view to integrating museum visits with the teaching of history in the classroom. Following preparatory research in the Indian Museum, Kolkata, educational packages and multimedia presentations will be developed as workshop aids.
For an interdisciplinary workshop, led by an organisation researching Mumbai’s urban culture, to initiate multi-disciplinary collaborations on Mumbai’s industrial history and the Mill Lands in particular. The workshop is expected to catalyse a series of Industrial Museum Workshops and culminate in the setting up of an Industrial Museum Archive.
For an exploration, by two dancers, of the language of movement through the idioms of contemporary dance and ‘film dance’—dance seen in popular cinema—in order to understand where they intersect and how they differ. The process of collaborative creation of new work would be documented and shared in workshops and other teaching contexts.