For research towards a book on the works of Kalam Patua, a patachitra artist. This project will trace his journey from a practitioner of the traditional painting of Patuas to his transition as painter whose work is displayed in modern art galleries, particularly after the revival of the Kalighat pat in the 1990’s.
For creative arts workshops with children living in and around four railway platforms in West Bengal. Drawing inspiration from the dramatic, rhythmic and free-flowing character of railway platforms, the project will enable the children to experience and explore a wide range of artistic processes drawn from storytelling, movement, music and theatre. The workshops will lead to four large site-specific performances and the emergence of the four organisations as community cultural centres.
For the collection, digitization and archiving of 78 rpm gramophone records of Bengali plays performed between 1900 and 1930. The project will document the plays performed on stage as well as those produced exclusively for gramophone recordings.
For research on the history of Bengali Cartoons starting from the late nineteenth century to post-Independence India. The resulting book will examine the development of cartoons from a discursive art form in early publications to a space for critical discourse on colonial domination, self- representation, and the process of modernisation.
For research leading to a travelogue on the songs performed during Muharram in various districts of West Bengal. The Muharram songs will be viewed as a part of a performative tradition that interprets and internalises the history of the Shia community. The recorded interviews and the songs will be documented as an audio-visual archive.
For the development and staging of a performance by and for children in Bengali based on a story by Upendra Kishore Roychowdhury. The children will visualise the story and develop the script for the performance through constant improvisations and experiments with the patua community in West Bengal.
For research into indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal that burgeoned in opposition to the British education system and reclaimed displaced popular culture to establish an important swadeshi tradition. The research will culminate in an encyclopaedia and a website on indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal.
For the publication of a two-volume encyclopaedia and creation of an Internet archive of Bengali Theatre from 1795 to 2008. The encyclopaedia will include entries on theatre personalities, plays and production houses. A CD accompanying each volume will contain photographs, reviews and other material on plays and production companies.
For research into and documentation of post-Partition Bengali newspapers, primarily Ananda Bazar Patrika (1966-1977), towards examining the formation of the cultural identity of the Bengali middle class. The project will lead to an archive of documents and a reader in Bengali.
For research into the linked histories of the radio, the gramophone and Bengali music in the early twentieth century towards an archive of printed materials, a monograph, and a reader collating and annotating articles from Betar Jagat (1930-1950)––a journal published by Calcutta Radio Station. The project will examine, source and collate print and audio-visual records pertaining to the early history of both media in order to map the evolution of Bengali music of the period.