For cataloguing and microfilming material on early Tamil cinema held at the Roja Muthiah Reference Library in Chennai. The gaps in this collection will be filled by acquiring or microfilming privately-held print material on Tamil cinema, and a database of the enhanced collection will be made available in English and Tamil.
For a comprehensive documentation of the writings of Pudumaippithan, the first modern Tamil writer. The project will bring together his numerous short stories, essays and works of criticism held in public and private collections across the country, and result in microfilm and digital copies of them.
For dissertation research on the development of a ‘national’ theatre in India, analysing and evaluating post-independence cultural policy and the role of institutions like the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the National School of Drama. The study will explore the role of the state in creating and propagating aesthetic hierarchies.
For collaborative research, involving a centre of music research and training in Tamil Nadu and a school of performing arts in Kerala, towards the identification, documentation and notation of ragas and talas in Sopanam music, a near-extinct form of temple-singing. The research will result in selective video documentation of Sopanam artists.
For making a documentary video film on the shadow puppet theatre of south India. The film will record the lives of shadow puppeteers, examine the performative and technical aspects of their art, and attempt to identify useful comparisons and intersections between shadow puppetry and cinema.
For research towards an illustrated book on itinerant toymakers from various parts of the country. The study will document the lifestyles and craft of toymakers and identify possible measures to alleviate their lot. The research is expected to lead to published articles as well as lecture demonstrations and workshops on toy making.
For video and audio documentation of the oral and performative elements of sadir, locating it within the context of the Isai Vellalar community, whose few surviving members are the only exponents of this dance form.
For development of actor-training processes and consolidation of a repertoire of productions, which would contribute to non-formal education in rural areas and create a larger audience base for contemporary theatre in the state.
For an interdisciplinary study and documentation of five significant compositions of south Indian classical musician-saint Muttusvami Diksitar, resulting in an audio-visual archive. The study hopes to contribute fresh theoretical perspectives to ethnomusicology, music theory and cultural anthropology.