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.
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 Sayantan supports research into the Naga collection at the museum. The project aims to study the objects which form an integral part of the culture and tradition of the Naga tribes, towards curating a series of interdisciplinary events that will locate these objects in the complex and volatile living history of the Nagas. The outcome will be a series of events throughout the year including exhibitions and public programmes around the Naga collection.
For research to study the syncretic traditions inherent in traditional Axomiya society by mapping the cultural and social history of the performance tradition of Jikir in Assam. The research will be conducted with her collaborator, Shakya Shamik Kar Khound. The outcome will be an anthology on Jikir.
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 Shubhasree supports research to explore the period prior to the arrival of the Ahom rulers in 13th century Assam through the objects in the entire collection of the museum. The project aims to highlight the rich cultural legacies of the region, the Sanskritisation of Assam, and the ways in which regional histories like that of Assam, have played a major role in the larger mainstream histories of the country. The outcome will be a series of events like lectures, small exhibitions around objects that will then feed into a large temporary exhibition at the end of the fellowship period.
For support towards an international conference on the evolution of the Urdu language and its proliferation in popular culture across music, film, literature and television. The conference attempts to explore the worlds of popular and classical discourses in Urdu, and study their impact on the life, vibrancy and sustainability of the language. The conference took place in September 2017 in collaboration with Centre for Indian Languages, School of Language, JNU, New Delhi. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA will be the papers presented by all speakers at the conference and video documentation of the entire conference.
For support towards a project that will enable the eighth grade students of the Government High School at Malur, Tirthahalli Taluk, Shimoga, to explore texts from the school syllabus by interpreting it through the poly-vocal rendition of Vadapu which is used in the performance of Puravanthike, a folk art form from the region. Through this process they will consider multiple possibilities of creating performance pieces. The outcome will be a stage performance which will be presented at two to three school venues.
For support towards a series of workshops with Tamil speaking children to create a visual storytelling book that aims to challenge dominant notions of children’s books that put great importance on activity. This project instead will attempt to draw attention to contemplation and abstraction in the world of children. The outcomes of the grant will be a book and an exhibition with original artwork from the book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be detailed documentation of the processes including photographs and audio-video recording of the project, various drafts and final layout of the book, and design and catalogue of the exhibition.