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.
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 1990s.
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.