For working with the Archaeology Museum in Deccan College, Pune, which has a rich collection of antiquities and specimens sourced from excavations and explorations carried out across India over the decades. This fellowship supports the research towards the curation of a series of public events around the museum collections, with the intention of making the museum a space social space – one that will encourage people to think, talk, communicate, meet, learn, and enjoy, which will also be supported by a strong online presence. The outcomes will include an experiential exploration of some of the museum galleries, a series of interactive events designed for an audience of all age-groups, an exhibition, talks, and an online presence that will aim to create a virtual community. The Fellow’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be images of the process, audio/video recordings, texts, and a publication, if any.
For research to study the life and work of Baburao Painter--producer, director and the founder of the Maharashtra Film Company. The project will explore the evolution of regional cinema in Kolhapur in Maharashtra by situating Baburao’s work amidst literary and visual cultures of his time, tracing his influence on and connections with contemporary artists, thinkers, writers and political figures. The outcome of this project will be a biographical account of him, which will be subsequently published as a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript of the book including images. Grant funds will cover an honorarium, professional fees, travel and accommodation, and an accountant’s fee.
For working with the collections of ‘Mann Maps’ at the Kalakriti Archives in Hyderabad, Telangana. The Kalakriti Archives house the largest collection of maps in India. Shikha will conduct research on these maps of Hyderabad city commissioned by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1908 after the devastating floods in the city, which were created under the supervision of Leonard Munn, the chief inspector of mines under the Nizam regime. The research aims at studying both the idea of map-making and cartography on the one hand, and the interaction between the map and its user on the other, in an attempt to understand the human experience of maps. The outcomes could include a video art installation, a publication, workshops, talks and events through the fellowship period.
For working with the Kerala Museum, Kochi to envisage and curate a series of activities engaging the collection that includes exhibitions, public programmes and outreach events for both adults and children. The Kerala Museum’s collection is representative of important milestones in the world of visual art from all over India. Beginning with Raja Ravi Verma, Rama Verma, and Abanindranath Tagore, the collection includes artists from Shantiniketan; the Bengal School; those who were part of the Progressive Movement like M F Husain, F N Souza, Akbar Padamsee, as well as contemporary ones.
For a foundation-administered project that supports research into the history, evolution and current musical practice of the Mir musicians of Rajasthan. Through field trips and intensive interactions, this study seeks to analyse the geographical, historical and socio-political confluences, continuities, fissures and divergences in the recent decades that have impacted the trajectories of the music of the Mirs. The outcome of this project will be an essay.
For the creation of a performance based on the abhangs - devotional poetry dedicated to the deity Vithoba - of women warkari saints of Maharashtra. Through intensive travel and research, this project seeks to interpret and perform in the public domain, primarily through music, about 10 to 12 poems of the women saints whose works currently exist only as textual documentation. The outcomes will be two music concerts and recordings of the 10 to 12 songs. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be translations of the chosen songs, audio recordings of the studio recorded songs and video documentation of the performances.
For research into the notions of gender and identity, with specific reference to gender testing in the field of athletics. Through detailed interviews and study, this research will aim to gather a nuanced understanding of gender as a spectrum rather than a binary, challenging accepted modes of identity. The outcome of this grant will be a broad structure for a play and a possible script. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the play structure.
For research into the changing practices and ecology of the performance form of Tamasha across Maharashtra. Building on earlier work also supported by IFA, this project entails revisiting, after nearly fifteen years, villages in the Konkan, western and northern Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to document photographically the cumulative impact of socio-political and economic forces on the art form and the lives of its performers. The outcome of this project will be photographs with field notes.
For research into the work of the Wancho Literary Mission in Arunachal Pradesh towards the development and propagation of the Wancho script. The outcome of this project will be a video of the documented material.
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’.