For the production of a film on the history, form, style and aesthetics of the mobile theatre of Assam. The film will record the transformation in themes and repertoire of this genre of performance, capture the experience and perspectives of its promoters, directors, actors, technicians and stagehands, and document the impact of globalisation on its practice.
For the making of a two-part film on the Draupadi Amman Mahabharatha Koothu festival that is celebrated in over 200 villages in Tamil Nadu every year. Draupadi is the presiding deity of the festival and the Mahabharata is narrated as a story, re-created as theatre and performed as a ritual for her. The first part of the film will explore the mythology of the Draupadi cult and the history of the region, the second part will document the villagers reciting, performing and living the Mahabharata for the duration of the festival.
For research towards a book of thematic essays that investigate the nature, outcome and predicament of critical practices in architecture of the post-independence era, within a broader culture of building.
For an international conference titled Reviewing Disciplinary Agendas in Theatre Studies: Cultural Arenas, Policies, Institutions, which will address a crucial phase in the history of theatrical activity (1930-1970) in India. The proceedings of the conference will be published.
For research into the oral narrative tradition of Manteswamy, a sixteenth century saint of Karnataka, and its performance by the Neelagaras, the traditional singers of the Manteswamy epic. The study will excavate the historical origins of the tradition, scrutinise its representation as a Dalit tradition, and examine its contemporary performance contexts.
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 research into and documentation of the Reshma-Chuharmal Nautanki, a popular Dalit folk theatre performance of Bihar. The project will explore how identities, caste and power are contested in and through this performance. Different versions of the Reshma-Chuharmal story, both in its performed and written form, will be collated, transcribed, translated and analysed to understand how they reflect a changing sense of identity among the Dalits.
For research towards a comparative study of Bengal scroll painting and Gond art from Madhya Pradesh. The researcher will travel to the Naya village in West Bengal, home of the Patuas who create the pata chitra paintings, and to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, home of the Gonds. She will explore their visual landscape in light of the changes that their art has undergone due to state patronage and market forces.
For research and field work to compile Sindhi oral narratives in the border region of western Rajasthan and Kutch. In particular, the various forms of the premakhyans (love narratives), which are the most popular of the various Sindhi oral narratives, will be contextualised and investigated. The research will lead to a series of articles or a short monograph.