For a film and web platform on the journey of Warkaris, the Vaishnavite pilgrims who undertake an annual expedition to Pandharpur in Maharashtra. The filmmaker seeks to document the journey and map it on a web platform, while simultaneously linking various points enroute to textual material describing the journey. This project wishes to traverse the boundary between cinema and web technology where every viewer will have a different narrative experience of the journey depending on the choices they make.
For research into the popular subculture of automatons displayed during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. His research will lead to the production of a film exploring the mythologies around these religious displays. The film will highlight the working of the low-tech automaton industry, while allowing for a creative and fictitious depiction of the research material in the form of a film. The collected material will also result in an installation piece.
For research towards production and dissemination across six tier B cities of a performance piece, tentatively titled ‘Notes on Chai’. The performance will explore the idea of the quotidian in everyday life, by combining realistic character-based pieces with abstract sounds.
For research towards a curatorial project exploring the history of early sound and sound technology through archival research and interviews, as well as artistic collaborations between the researcher and a Bombay-based curator, artists, sound recordists, sound theorists, musicians, linguists, researchers and writers whose practices contribute to an understanding of sound ecologies in India.
For research at various archives of science and astronomy and at Jain religious archives in India leading to a multi-part art project titled The Weather Inside Me. The project will trace the history of science, weather and solar observations in India from pre-colonial to post-colonial times. The religious archives will be referenced to investigate the centrality of the sun in Jainism and its resulting impact on time and memory in our lives.
For the sturdy of vintage educational film footage the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) archives, produced as part of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) programme. This programme was established by NASA and ISRO in 1975-76 to impart a ‘modern and scientific outlook to rural India’. The fellowship outcome will be a symposium and, subject to availability of further funding from other sources, a film using the found footage.
For research and documentation of the visual cultures of Northeast India, focusing on contemporary arts practices in Shillong, Guwahati and Silchar. The research will recalibrate the centre-periphery dichotomy that comes into play when engaging with the art history and practices of the Northeast, by looking at the ‘regional modernisms’ in the context of the North-East geographical and cultural affinities with South Asia and South East Asia. The project will result in an online archive, which will function as an alternative resource to supplement currently available pedagogies of art history and criticism.
For research and the making of a film on the satirical poetic tradition in Dakhani known as Mizahiya Shairi. A vibrant form in the 1940s, this tradition is now in decline, not only due to the fading syncretic socio-cultural fabric of the city of Hyderabad but also because of the erosion of the Hyderabadi style of literary Urdu and the arts associated with it. The film will explore the complex relationship between Dakhani as a regional linguistic form and the socio-political factors shaping its contemporary use.
For the translation of a three-volume book, Marathi Natkachya Tees Ratri: Ek Samajik Rajkiya Itihas from Marathi to English. The book chronicles the socio-political history of modern Marathi theatre and has the potential to inform and enrich the more mainstream, but sometimes blinkered English language discourse on the arts. An earlier IFA grant had supported the research and writing of the book.