For artistically representing the untold private lives of veteran Jatra artists, photographed while performing their beloved characters in costume within their quotidian environments. While the photographs push the boundaries of documentation and performance, raising questions about history and authenticity, they are also witnesses of the transforming face of Jatra. The outcome will be an exhibition of these photographs where some Jatra artists will talk about their experiences dressed as characters.
For examining the ways in which modern forms of storytelling such as animation and the graphic novel and their traditional counterparts in the folk and tribal arts, are turning to each other for new modes of expressions, subjects, and audiences to expand their practices. The researcher will focus on the works of the Chitrakar community of Medinipur, West Bengal and the Pradhan Gonds of Madhya Pradesh; and also study recent collaborations between graphic novelists and folk artists. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For a grant to extend his earlier project, where students across grades in the school will work towards a folk theatre performance. While the students will learn various art forms from local artists and communities they live with, this project will bring together the entire school – the teachers, parents and school administration – to strengthen the relationship between the school experience and community lives.
For the development of a game-art environment, by a moving image artist, based on the speculations around the remains of Queen Ketevan of Georgia in Goa. Using archival materials, the project aims to question the legitimacy of proof in the reading of history, while experimenting with the limits of film, games and the digital media. The outcome of the project will be an installation that will allow interaction between traditional board games and interactive screen games, ideally, situated in a gallery.
For research to study the construction of identity by representation through photographic images. The project will focus on the photographs of the Konyak Nagas by ethnologist Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf, that is responsible for creating the archetypal Naga stereotype. The outcome of this research will be an exhibition.
For the creation of a supportive environment for the eighth and ninth grade Urdu speaking local students, to develop positive self-identity through studying their own histories, and cultures through the literary arts, music and visual arts. The non local students will also be encouraged to participate, in order to appreciate the culture within which the school functions.
For a puppetry workshop, over eighteen days, for eight participants from diverse artistic backgrounds, with a traditional master Kathputli practitioner from Rajasthan – Puran Bhatt. The third in a series of IFA funded workshops, this is another step towards addressing the need for building a robust discourse and pedagogy for puppetry in India, through intensive training, discussions and artistic exchanges, between traditional and contemporary puppeteers and other arts practitioners who draw from puppetry in form, content or aesthetics.
For research on one of the kshetra kalas – the Poothan Thira, a ritual and performance based art form of the Mannan community in North Kerala. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, the researcher will create biographies of ten objects deemed significant to the art form, gleaned from conversations with ten community members. The outcome of this project will be a photo-essay and a digital online exhibition.
For a grant for integrating 'Talk Story', a storytelling process, by which students and teachers, as learners from the first to the seventh grade, will incorporate their personal life experiences with the content of study in classrooms. This will enable them to grasp the meaning and relevance of the curriculum to their everyday lives.
For exploring the socio-cultural, historical and psychological understandings of doll traditions in southern Tamil Nadu, towards creating a new language of performance. Through an investigation into the myths, movements, language, songs and politics of these doll traditions, the study seeks a deeper understanding of the nuanced performative elements embedded in these traditions. The outcome of the research will be a performance script.
For research into the aesthetic theory in the Anoirol, an ancient Meitei text on the art of movements, abandoned in the mainstream discourse of the performing arts. The study will explore various aspects and beliefs on past and future life associated with ecological preservation and its deep-rooted animism as prescribed in the text. The enquiry will emphasise the critical need to read Manipuri dance by the principles of discourses in its own indigenous context rather than homogenising it through the prism of foreign texts like the Natyashastra. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For the building of a pedagogic process for students between the eight and tenth grade, through the principles and application of design practice, using materials from textbooks, vibrant art forms in the locality, and the natural environment where the school is located. This project seeks to instill the ability to think through problems, and seek solutions using the discipline of design.
For a foundation-administered project, supporting an initiative in Rajasthan, which will bring together the families of Mir musicians and their patrons scattered across the Bikaner region, in an attempt to reinvigorate their musical tradition. A core team of senior as well as young artists along with patrons will undertake a yatra across the ten far flung Mir strongholds in the Bikaner region; towards facilitating musical interchanges, community interactions and mapping of musical opportunities within cultural festivals and events.
For research into the history of contemporary dance in Bengal, through the journeys of feminist dancer-choreographers Manjusri Chaki Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar. Focusing on the social, political and personal histories of the dancers, the study will explore their interventions in the practice as they drew from medieval inheritances, colonial legacies and postcolonial promises to create new languages for dance. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For a grant to introduce a research based experience of exploring history for a higher primary school, by conducting one such study of a local chieftain by the name Shivappa Nayaka in Shivamogga district, Karnataka.