Unnikrishnan K

Arts Education

Grant Period: over one year

Dr Unnikrishnan K is a Fulbright Fellow of 2013, currently designated as Associate Professor, Centre for Creative and Cultural Studies at Manipal University, Manipal.

His grant supports an inclusive program for 76 children from the Manipal Government School and their community, for creative interventions to build inter-cultural engagements between local Tulu and Kannada speaking groups of northern Karnataka. These children come from financially challenged background and Krishnan believes that creative thinking should be part of their education process. He wants to experiment with sharing of various art forms of the local and the displaced communities in attempt to bridge their cultural gaps and perceptions of each other.

An area he wants to focus on is environment. Although Manipal is known to be an educational hub amidst a rich natural habitat with the Western Ghats close by, Krishnan feels that environmental issues like water conservation, understanding of endangered flora and fauna, decrease in seasonal rain, and related issues have been ignored when it comes to education. Thus he wishes to bring in through local stories, issues relating to the river Swarna or the endangered trees of Manipal into the lives of children to explore artistic processes in understanding their immediate environment.

He will invite local resource persons as experts in his programme including people like bird photographer Ramit Singal, renowned environmentalist Dr Madhyasta, folk artist Sanjeev Suvarna, Abbigere Timmaraju, Byloor Basavalingayya Hiremath, and other local artists and activists to school and run a series of workshops to trigger discussions on the issues.

The outcome will be an exhibition and there is also the possibility of a book coming out of their work. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be audio-visual documentation of the workshops, images, and a ten to twelve minute video document of the entire project.

This grant was made possible with support from Citi India.