For a fifteen-day puppetry workshop for nine participants from diverse artistic backgrounds with a traditional master Togalu Gombeyata practitioner. First among a series to be held over the next two years, the workshop expects to kickstart the process of 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 researching the development and changes in the Lounda Nach performances in Bihar since the 1990s. The project aims to primarily explore the influence of CD culture and the film and cassette industries on Lounda Nach to understand how the aesthetics of this art form and its engagement with audiences have evolved. The outcome will be a book.
For a series of workshop processes conducted by a theatre group to explore and create a methodology of physical alphabets for theatre. The workshops will experiment with nonverbal explorations of textual themes and integrate them in the process of theatre-making. The outcome will be a detailed documentation of the processes that includes everyday rehearsal notes, photographs and audio-visual material.
For collaborative exploration between a Kathak dancer and a contemporary dancer, that poses questions for both these artists, pushing the classical dancer to open himself up to contemporary approaches of performance making; and the contemporary choreographer to work with and from the sensibilities of a classical idiom. The outcome will be a performance scheduled to premiere in December 2014.
For documenting the complex and conflicted history of the evolution of the Malayalam script in the computer era through the exploration of the Rachana movement in Kerala. Outcomes of the project will include a free and open Malayalam font based on the original script, a website archiving published material related to the language campaign for the original script, and a book printed in this script narrating the history, evolution and present status of the Malayalam Lipi and Unicode language technology.
For the creation of a theatrical production that explores the position of women, roles of women characters and streevesha (female impersonation) within the male-dominated practice of Yakshagana. Drawing from research and personal experience, the performance imagines a reversal of roles in the popular Yakshagana plot of Draupadi Vastrapaharana, thereby exploring the conflicts around tradition, gender, power and morality inherent in the form. The performance is scheduled to premiere in Udupi in November 2015.
For analysing the phenomenon of the emergence of satellite television in the 1990s, which was a crucial factor in Kerala’s social life. By exploring the cultural history of the Malayalam satellite channel Asianet, the project attempts to understand how television is instrumental in refashioning the modern political subject in post-colonial contexts. The outcome will be a monograph.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Afrah’s research will culminate in a series of short videos that will portray stories of resistance of women in the nineteenth century, loosely themed around ‘Women and Impudence/Cheeky Girls’.
For research into India’s disparate botanical art traditions, focusing on four colonial botanical texts ranging from the seventeenth-century Hortus Indicus Malabaricus to the nineteenth-century Flora Indica. The research will involve matching the texts with what exists in the gardens, and making visible the unnamed indigenous botanical artists of Company paintings as well as the variations in botanical iconography across diverse print media: engravings, watercolours, and lithographs. This research is part of a larger project to document an Indian botanical ‘Ark-ive’ or a visual genealogy of botanical arts traditions on the printed page. The outcome will be a website.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Vishwajyoti will visually reinterpret some of the moral science textbooks from nineteenth-century India with the visuals and popular iconography of that era to form a new body of work.
For research into the diverse constructions and reinventions of the Ramayana epic with specific focus on seven performance traditions and two contemporary reinterpretations. The project seeks to provide a textured and contextual study of the various manifestations of the epic within specific ritual, social and performative contexts. The outcomes will include a series of presentations and an essay.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements and commercial art productions. Sujaan will trace the two-century-old history of tourism in Calcutta and focus on the ways in which the city has been represented by and for the ‘outsider’. The outcome could take various forms such as a curated guided tour, a guidebook, and a digital map that represents the different histories of Calcutta’s heritage.
For research at the Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum of Central Asian & Kargil Trade Artifacts in Kargil. It will culminate in an exhibition that will open in the Museum in September, 2014. The exhibition will re-present and contextualize the large collection of historical and ethnographic objects in the museum by constructing narratives around these objects, texts and legacies of the people who have traversed these regions.
For the creation of a production based on a Marathi script titled ‘Flat Number F-1/105’. Through active collaborations among the director, actors and the playwright, the performance seeks to address issues around identity through a reflection on the aesthetic and political perceptions of ‘colour’.
For research, collation and documentation of materials from archives related to the practice of a revolutionary poet who has been an active advocate for a separate state of Telangana. This artistic engagement will be documented through photographs, text, video, and recorded audios of political discourse, conversations and interviews.