Sayantan Maitra Boka

Archival and Museum Fellowships
2016-2017

Grant Period: over a period of one year

Sayantan Maitra Boka is an architect and curator, who has worked extensively in the Northeast of India. In 2011 he curated a large public art festival in Nagaland that coincided with the Hornbill Festival in Kohima. He used Kisama as a focal site and organised artistic interventions at the bus terminus, bazaar and stadium. In a unique attempt to bring contemporary artists to these public spaces in Nagaland, Boka invited artists like Gigi Scaria, Vibha Galhotra, Riyas Komu and others to engage with the site and the local students. He has also curated other public art projects in Meghalaya and most recently in Kolkata. In addition to his curatorial projects, Boka teaches for one semester at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi. He is currently based in Kolkata and Delhi but will spend a major part of his time in Guwahati during his fellowship period.

For this fellowship, Boka will work with the Naga collection. He will try and contextualise the objects that are still very much a part of the living culture of the Nagas through interdisciplinary dialogues with art practitioners, curators, historians, and other experts from the field. He will also create a platform where local artists can meet and interact with contemporary artists from other parts of the country. Being an architect, Boka will attempt to work on select architectural elements of the museum, trying to make it a more viewer-friendly space for the lay audience.

The outcome will be a series of events throughout the year including exhibitions and public programmes around the Naga collection.

One of the objectives of the Archival and Museum fellowships is to build a network of collaborations in fairly unexplored regions like the Northeast of India and we hope that these fellowships are a step in that direction.

This grant was made possible with support from the Tata Trusts.