For research into the history of contemporary dance in Bengal, through the journeys of feminist dancer-choreographers Manjusri Chaki Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar. Focusing on the social, political and personal histories of the dancers, the study will explore their interventions in the practice as they drew from medieval inheritances, colonial legacies and postcolonial promises to create new languages for dance. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For artistically representing the untold private lives of veteran Jatra artists, photographed while performing their beloved characters in costume within their quotidian environments. While the photographs push the boundaries of documentation and performance, raising questions about history and authenticity, they are also witnesses of the transforming face of Jatra. The outcome will be an exhibition of these photographs where some Jatra artists will talk about their experiences dressed as characters.
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. Sujaan will trace the two-century-old history of tourism in Calcutta and focus on the ways in which the city has been represented by and for the ‘outsider’. The outcome could take various forms such as a curated guided tour, a guidebook, and a digital map that represents the different histories of Calcutta’s heritage.
For a series of workshops with the multiethnic communities of the eastern Himalayan regions of Sikkim and northern parts of West Bengal. It is a collaborative and multidisciplinary project that involves local music, myths and traditions dealt with in a manner that pushes the artistic boundaries of cinema. Described as an ‘interdependent cinema project’, the workshops will lead to a film, a graphic novel, a music album and finally a documentary installation exhibition.
For a series of workshops culminating in a two-day public art festival in the Chitpur locality of old Kolkata. These workshops are designed to re-energise and activate this locality which has a rich history and heritage, through various cultural activities, innovative audience engagement and archiving with the help of local residents, businessmen, artists, craftsmen, teachers and students. Outcomes of the project will include a website, an exhibition and a DVD documenting the process.
For research into the field recordings, texts and photographs of the Dutch ethnomusicologist Arnold Bake, during his time in Bengal from 1925 to 1934. Based on this archival material gathered from various archives in India and abroad, she will construct histories of music and portraits of people and places, thus adding to and energising the existing archive for folk music, 'The Travelling Archive'. The outcomes will be an exhibition and a book.
For the creation of a solo performance based Shurpanakha in the Ramayana, incorporating different readings of this enigmatic character—as a shape shifting raksashi, a beautiful woman, and a victim of patriarchal norms—found in various versions of the epic. The performance will include new songs in Braj, a local dialect of Hindi and create a movement vocabulary extending beyond the traditional repertoire of Kathak.
For a series of children’s workshops that imaginatively explore the patua folklore and its social and cultural environment towards the creation of children’s theatre performances. Situated primarily in two patua villages, Nayagram and Pingla in West Bengal, the project will focus on the children of the patua community offering them opportunities to reinvigorate the now dormant performative element of the Patachitra tradition.
For collaborative exploration between a Kathak dancer and a contemporary dancer, that poses questions for both these artists, pushing the classical dancer to open himself up to contemporary approaches of performance making; and the contemporary choreographer to work with and from the sensibilities of a classical idiom. The outcome will be a performance scheduled to premiere in December 2014.
For a part-documentary part-fiction film on the Bengali writer Nabarun Bhattacharya’s life and work which will explore his creative and psychological processes. The film will experiment with the ‘fantastic’ in an attempt to push the bounds of cinematic art and of current practices in the documentary and fiction film modes. The film will be disseminated through international television channels, film festivals, the internet and other non-mainstream avenues.