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.
For the creation of a multi-channel video installation titled ‘Between the Waves’, which uses text and dance choreography to explore contemporary conceptual understandings of the relationship between Animal – Human – Machine – Divine. Drawing upon Donna Haraway and Virginia Woolf, along with theories of evolution and existing religiocultural practices, the project will highlight the inevitability of interstitial existence and challenge received notions of gender, race, evolution and consciousness.
For a storytelling and visual arts workshop for children from Chizami in Nagaland. In the absence of any encouragement for the visual arts in Nagaland, this project will give the children the opportunity to explore their creativity by engaging with various styles of narration, visualization and illustration. The workshop will result in a book of stories illustrated by the children as well as exhibitions of their artworks.
For research into the Drupad tradition and its transmission within the Dagar gharana. They study will examine how notions of tradition, authenticity and the gharan are constructed through the processes of teaching and learning at the Dagar gurukul in Panvel. The project will result in a monograph and audio-visual documentation.
For research towards a book on Clearing House, a publishing collective started by four poets in Bombay in the mid 1970s. The book will also look at the emergence of Bombay’s small press movement and the city’s cultural and political ambiance during that period. The primary source for the book will be the archive of poet Adil Jussawala, the first publisher of Clearing House, which consists of hundreds of letters exchanged between the poets of the collective, reviews of the books they published and their responses to these reviews, among other material.
For collaboration between four young directors to devise a Marathi stage adaptation of Attempts on Her Life, a play by Martin Crimp. The production will use mobile scenic design and multimedia images to explore the social and psychological complexities of the central character and examine the crisis of identity in contemporary society in Maharashtra.
For research on the evolution of the Indian documentary film. Focusing on major figures and phases of development from the 1920s to the present, the project will chart the chronologies of different types of documentary filmmaking practices in India. The connection of technology, politics, community building, funding and censorship to documentary filmmaking will also be investigated. The outcome of the project will be the manuscript of a book and two paper presentations at seminars.
For turning the performance script S*x, M*rality and Cens*rship, which was developed with the help of an earlier research grant from IFA, into a stage production. The script specifically looks at at the censorship battles fought over the play Sakharam Binder and the audience and critical responses to the production. Audio and video material secured during the research phase will be incorporated in the envisaged docudrama to recreate the cultural context of the 1970s.