For the production and post-production of two films that will complete the Sikkim trilogy inaugurated with the IFA-supported The Listener’s Tale. Emerging out of the research and production of the first film, these subsequent films will move closer to places and people in an attempt to capture the everyday, which underlies the grand design of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim.
For building of an archive of photographs of urban middle-class women of Bengal from the 1880s to the 1970s. The project will critically and thematically archive and read the economy of photographic practices including modes of representation and resistances connected with the lives of urban middle-class Hindu/ Brahmo women in Bengal.
For theme-based museum education workshops for junior and middle-school children in eighteen schools in Kolkata. New modules will be developed in accordance with the history syllabus, incorporating the learning from the first phase and extending the pedagogic possibilities of the Indian Museum’s collection. A trust will be set up with the aim of furthering museum education in schools, and potential sponsors will be approached in an effort to diversify funding sources for the initiative.
For the preparation of the manuscripts for a ten-volume encyclopaedia on Bengali theatre (1795-2000). The encyclopaedia will cover plays, playwrights, theatre groups and other visual and textual material that have a bearing on theatre history. In the longer term, the aim is also to create an Internet archive of documents on Bengali theatre.
For the digitisation of 46,000 Bengali little magazines and the preparation of an open-access Internet archive. The project will make this valuable collection more accessible and expand the available resources for researchers. It will also help raise the library’s public profile and connect it to other institutions working with technology to make cultural resources available in the public domain.
For the theatrical adaptation of a twenty four-line Bengali poem, which is based on the Mughal emperor Babur’s prayer for the revival of his sick son and the poet’s own grief over his daughter’s illness, and makes a strong statement against the organised killing of the young, war, terrorism and genocide. The production—imagined as a montage interweaving events from different times and places—will make innovative use of lighting, space design, character movement and a chorus.
For the dissemination of Bishar Blues, a film on music and deeply spiritual everyday life of the fakirs of Bengal. The project will use the film to pen a dialogue between the misunderstood and mistrusted fakirs and the larger community in rural West Bengal, and stimulate discussion on marginal cultures through a seminar/screening in Kolkata.
For the writing of a book in Bengali on the history of Jatra (1900-2006) with a particular focus on the performance of Jatra in non-metropolitan Bengal, and the digitisation of play scripts, photographs, interviews and publicity materials. Over the medium term, the objective is to mount an exhibition with the digitised materials to generate public awareness about the history and popularity of Jatra in Bengal.
For research and documentation leading to a sound and oral history archive on the fakirs of Bengal and an ethno-musicological travelogue in Bengali focusing on the life of the fakirs and their music. The project is expected to contribute to the study of oral cultures and popular religion, and generate a critical discourse on the radical syncretism practiced by a minority community.