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 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 that enquires into the Raseshori Pala of the Sankirtan tradition of Manipur to draw attention to certain aspects of Vaishnavism and its devotional expression through the contribution of women. The project will explore roles of women as custodians for maintaining and carrying forward this artistic tradition. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
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 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 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 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 the creation of an interactive play based on a science fiction that questions the idea of ‘othering’. The play will be performed in non-conventional venues like community halls, schools, colleges and independent theatre spaces to facilitate interactions with audiences who usually don’t watch theatre. The outcome of the grant will be two runs of the play with five shows.
For working with the collections at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghralaya (IGRMS), Bhopal. The IGRMS is an ethnographic museum which demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of India's traditional life styles, local knowledge and mores, and cautions the people against unprecedented destruction of ecology, environment, local values, customs, etc. Abeer intends to explore the role, relevance and meaning of the ethnographic object in the contemporary world. For this purpose he proposes to create an intersection between a given ethnographic collection and the community it belongs to, at a point where the community itself has shifted to an alternate location or is scattered across numerous locations. The outcome will be an exhibition and an essay.
For the expansion of the workshops offered by an ongoing initiative to train young film enthusiasts and film and art students in the theory and practice of film curation. Also supported will be ancillary workshops and mentorship to provide conceptual and practical guidance to participants whose curatorial ideas have been selected for screening at a film festival.