For research towards a comparative study of Bengal scroll painting and Gond art from Madhya Pradesh. The researcher will travel to the Naya village in West Bengal, home of the Patuas who create the pata chitra paintings, and to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, home of the Gonds. She will explore their visual landscape in light of the changes that their art has undergone due to state patronage and market forces.
For three editions of the annual summer artists’ residencies, PEERS. The grant will enable Khoj to offer ten residencies, and hold a one-time retrospective exhibition of art work emerging from PEERS. It is expected that this continued support for PEERS will expand the initiative’s reach and scale, and facilitate a greater engagement of contemporary artists with the public at large.
A thirty-five-day theatre workshop in Akingam village in Kashmir, with the purpose of reviving and revitalising the Bhand Pather theatre form. Performed in open spaces, especially as part of community celebrations, this theatre form has experienced a setback over the last few decades due to the militancy and insurgency in Kashmir. The workshop will reacquaint younger Bhand Pather artists with their legacy.
For the publication of a book that will highlight Khoj’s contribution to contemporary art practice in India and simultaneously serve as a critical compendium of alternative contemporary art practice of the last decade. The book, with over 200 colour illustrations, will showcase the seminal work of over 80 visual artists, carry lead articles by art critics and sociologists, and feature artists interviewing artists.
For the development of production based on the Ramayana, exploring digital animation and puppetry in performance. Keeping Bhavabhuti’s Ramayana as the main source, this adaptation will reinterpret the love story of Ram and Sita as a tragic one and explore the duality in Ram’s character. A puppet theatre director and a media artist will work with traditional shadow-puppeteers, a contemporary musician, a writer and three contemporary puppeteers to create the production.
For research towards a novel on the rise and fall of Carnatic music as a dynamic social form from the mid-1920s to the end of the 1960s. The researcher will consult archival material on the lives of Carnatic musicians and the technical innovations made within the music during this period; interview performers and critics who were associated with this phase of the music; and consult scholars working on Carnatic music. The project will also lead to English translations of selected memoirs written by Carnatic musicians, which will be useful for the novel but can also be more widely disseminated.
For the making of a film on Surabhi, a 120-year old travelling theatre company from Andhra Pradesh. Envisaged as a journey with the repertory company, the film, titled Mayabazar, will examine the everyday activities of these travelling actors and their families, rehearsals, exercises, the staging of the plays based on the epics and the puranas, the audience, sets, make-up and costume design. The film will also explore the traces of Parsi theatre, silent cinema from the Phalke era and the paintings of Ravi Verma in the design of the theatre company’s sets and costumes.
For post-production work on a film titled, In Search of Umrao, exploring the social and cultural history of the tawaifs of North India. The film focuses on the arts forms associated with them and the relationship between aesthetic expression and sexual identity. Through the story of a lost thumri sung by Rasoolan Bai, whose career as a performer overlapped with significant transitions in both the practice of music and public female sexualities, the film will examine the major shifts in the tradition’s history.
For digitising the archive of a literary magazine in order to maximise its website’s potential to serve as an educational resource and be an avenue for revenue generation. Marketing initiatives that target Indian and foreign universities and institutions are expected to help the magazine to become self-sustainable.