Archival and Museum Fellowships

Shubhasree Purkayastha

Grant Period: over a period of one year

For working with the Assam State Museum, which was founded by the Kamrupa Anusandhan Samiti in 1940 and was taken over by the Government of Assam in 1953. Currently, the museum has 14 galleries with a collection of over 15,000 objects from the region. This fellowship to Shubhasree supports research to explore the period prior to the arrival of the Ahom rulers in 13th century Assam through the objects in the entire collection of the museum. The project aims to highlight the rich cultural legacies of the region, the Sanskritisation of Assam, and the ways in which regional histories like that of Assam, have played a major role in the larger mainstream histories of the country. The outcome will be a series of events like lectures, small exhibitions around objects that will then feed into a large temporary exhibition at the end of the fellowship period. 

Sayantan Maitra Boka

Grant Period: over a period of one year

For working with the Assam State Museum, which was founded by the Kamrupa Anusandhan Samiti in 1940 and was taken over by the Government of Assam in 1953. Currently, the museum has 14 galleries with a collection of over 15,000 objects from the region. This fellowship to Sayantan supports research into the Naga collection at the museum. The project aims to study the objects which form an integral part of the culture and tradition of the Naga tribes, towards curating a series of interdisciplinary events that will locate these objects in the complex and volatile living history of the Nagas. The outcome will be a series of events throughout the year including exhibitions and public programmes around the Naga collection. 

Desire Machine Collective

Grant Period: over one year

For working with the Assam State Museum, which was founded by the Kamrupa Anusandhan Samiti in 1940 and was taken over by the Government of Assam in 1953. Currently, the museum has 14 galleries with a collection of over 15,000 objects from the region.  This fellowship to Desire Machine Collective supports the creation of a new discourse around the museum and its collection. The project aims to ‘de-colonise’ the cultural memory in the museum and open up the space for popular and indigenous knowledges, re-imagining Assam both in its geographical and historical construct, as a link that connects South with Southeast Asia. The outcome will be a series of events around objects from the entire collection in the museum throughout the year including artistic interventions, installations, exhibitions, workshops, presentations, talks and video screenings.

Sirisha Indukuri

Grant Period: over a period of one year

For working with the collections of ‘Mann Maps’ at the Kalakriti Archives in Hyderabad, Telangana. The Kalakriti Archives house the largest collection of maps in India. Sirisha will conduct research on these maps of Hyderabad city commissioned by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1908 after the devastating floods in the city, which were created under the supervision of Leonard Munn, the chief inspector of mines under the Nizam regime. The study proposes to use the survey maps as tools to explore the non-physical aspects of the city’s topography. Using landscape as text, and oral histories, the project will provide insights into the social and cultural geographies of particular neighbourhoods in the city. The outcomes could include a series of events like lectures, discussions, workshops, and a paper. She will also think of organising ‘city walks’ in select areas of the city.

Rathin Barman

Grant Period: Over one year

For working with the collections at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghralaya (IGRMS), Bhopal. The IGRMS is an ethnographic museum which demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of India's traditional life styles, local knowledge and mores, and cautions the people against unprecedented destruction of ecology, environment, local values, customs, etc.  Rathin would like to explore, through his visual vocabulary, the relationship between an ethnographic object and a displaced community that is at odds with the traditional ways of life and living. The outcome will be an exhibition of objects from the museum, interspersed with new artworks that Barman will create, based on the conversations and memories of people he has interviewed from the community

Abeer Gupta

Grant Period: Over one year

For working with the collections at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghralaya (IGRMS), Bhopal. The IGRMS is an ethnographic museum which demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of India's traditional life styles, local knowledge and mores, and cautions the people against unprecedented destruction of ecology, environment, local values, customs, etc.  Abeer intends to explore the role, relevance and meaning of the ethnographic object in the contemporary world.  For this purpose he proposes to create an intersection between a given ethnographic collection and the community it belongs to, at a point where the community itself has shifted to an alternate location or is scattered across numerous locations. The outcome will be an exhibition and an essay.

Rongili Biswas

Grant Period: over one year

For a fellowship that enables research into the archives of Hemango Biswas with particular focus on the music, communication and collaboration between the two icons of the Assam IPTA movement, Hemango Biswas and Bhupen Hazarika. The research will focus on the period during the linguistic riots in Assam in the 1950s and 1960s, and unearth the important contribution that these two musicians made in confronting the conflict. The outcomes will be a monograph, and a CD/DVD recording of three important songs with genre-specific instruments and other political songs by Biswas and Hazarika. 

Shubhasree Bhattacharyya

Grant Period: over one year

For working with the audio-archives at the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies (ARCE), Gurgaon. The ARCE is an extraordinary audiovisual archive that houses more than 25,000 hours of recordings, and includes all contexts of music production, such as recorded Indian music, dance, and performance of all kinds, from classical music traditions to regional traditions from all over India, popular music from film music, to Jazz in India. Shubhasree’s research engages with ‘work music’ practices in India, which is scattered across genres like agricultural songs, boatman’s songs, grinding songs, and more, to construct a framework into which these genres can be categorised, and explored.

Priya Sen

Grant Period: over one year

For working with the audio-archives at the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies (ARCE), Gurgaon. The ARCE is an extraordinary audiovisual archive that houses more than 25,000 hours of recordings, and includes all contexts of music production, such as recorded Indian music, dance, and performance of all kinds, from classical music traditions to regional traditions from all over India, popular music from film music, to Jazz in India. Priya Sen a filmmaker and researcher, will investigate the narratives, and conversations around oceanic routes, especially, the music of the Siddhis in Gujarat, and the music of the indentured populations from East India and UP, who migrated to Mauritius, Fiji and Trinidad.

Vinod Velayudhan

Grant Period: Over ten months

For the construction of a data visualisation prototype to expose and make readable the information that is layered in text based data in Prof Jyoti Bhatt’s photographs and other associated materials, from his series Living Traditions that forms part of the Asia Art Archive. For nearly four decades Prof Bhatt has been documenting various ‘living traditions’, the arts, crafts and daily lives of people across the country. This project will draw on Prof Bhatt’s photographs, notes, sketchbooks, diaries, audio interviews and articles.

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