For research and the making of a film on the journey of a Genda Phool song, with its origins in Chhattisgarhi folk music, across varying musical, cultural and social contexts. The project will trace the various transformations and appropriations of the song and the different meanings it has acquired as a result.
For research towards a book on the impact of recording technology on South Indian classical music, especially the role played by women singers of the early twentieth century, who adapted an elaborate art form to the demands of a fledgling audio recording medium. The study will reconstruct the lives of these forgotten women and analyse how their refashioning of ragas and compositions for the three-minute recording format contributed to the subsequent development of Carnatic music.
For research into the Drupad tradition and its transmission within the Dagar gharana. They study will examine how notions of tradition, authenticity and the gharan are constructed through the processes of teaching and learning at the Dagar gurukul in Panvel. The project will result in a monograph and audio-visual documentation.
For the production of a film investigating the influence of politics and religion post-Partition evolution of classical dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi in Pakistan. The film will portray how Pakistani classical dancers have endured despite state censorship and the absence of critical audiences and institutional support, and how they have been received by their Indian counterparts.
For a film and a photo documentation of the murals in the Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara in Dehradun. The film will examine the relationship between the murals and their diverse viewers—the keepers in the shrine, art historians, restorers and worshippers—and explore how this rich repository of images reveals a history of power politics, syncretic religious practices of pre-colonial India and separate painting styles between the seventeenth and nineteenth century.
For research into the role of family tradition in the Indian miniature painting in the post-colonial period. The researcher will examine the royal collection of the Mewar court in the City Palace Museum in Udaipur, which has paintings from the seventeenth century to the present, and analyse the impact that changing patterns of patronage, the closure of the karkhana (guild) and the demands of the market have had on the families that have been painting miniatures for several generations. The project will result in an exhibition and a series of essays.
For research towards a book on Clearing House, a publishing collective started by four poets in Bombay in the mid 1970s. The book will also look at the emergence of Bombay’s small press movement and the city’s cultural and political ambiance during that period. The primary source for the book will be the archive of poet Adil Jussawala, the first publisher of Clearing House, which consists of hundreds of letters exchanged between the poets of the collective, reviews of the books they published and their responses to these reviews, among other material.
For research towards a book on the production, distribution and design aesthetics of pamphlets and little magazines produced and sold from Battala and College Street in Kolkata. The researcher will analyse the distribution of these printed materials and how this is linked to the social class of the creator/designer as well as the intended viewer or consumer. A designer’s sensibility will inform the resulting book, which will contain photographs of the little magazines and pamphlets and of the printing presses and materials.
For a two-day conference bringing together archivists, scholars, collectors and artists to examine the role of the archive in shaping the history of early Tamil cinema. The publication of the papers presented at the conference, along with an exhaustive filmography of Tamil films from 1930, will serve as a basic reference for further research.
For research on the Kshetrayya padam, a form of Carnatic music set to seventeenth century love poetry. The research will lead to a film exploring the representation of the Kshetrayya padam over the last two centuries. The film will examine how the Kshetrayya padam has been transmitted in independent India and how social and historical factors, particularly its association with the Devadasi tradition, have determined the position it now occupies in Carnatic music and the manner in which it has come to be represented in Bharatnatyam performances.