Arts Research and Documentation

Urmila Bhirdikar

Grant Period: Over one year and six months

For research into the history of Marathi Farce in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The project will take into the account the social critique implicit in this form of theatre, as well as study female impersonation which was a characteristic of all Marathi theatre of this period. The research will lead to the writing of a monograph, translations of two Farces, and the creation of an archive of documents on the subject.

Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta

Grant Period: Over two years

For the publication of a book that documents the history of print advertising in the Bengali language, analysing its various forms and modes, and the media through which it was displayed and printed. The book will also catalogue commercial artists and their contribution to text and visual, and the impact of advertising on the material culture of Bengali households and patterns of consumption. In addition, a visual archive of over 3,000 documents will be made available on the Internet to trigger further research in the area.

Sri Nilakanteshwara Natya Seva Sangha (Ninasam)

Grant Period: Over one year

For updating and digitising a database on performance spaces in Karnataka. The updated database will contain information on the location of each space, the nature of its stage and auditorium, its seating capacity, rental details, spatial dimensions, the types of other spaces attached to it, and equipment available. The database will be available to theatre groups, students of theatre and research scholars on a CD and will eventually be uploaded onto a website.

Nishtha Jain

Grant Period: Over nine months

For the production of a film on family photo-albums. The film will explore different elements of personal relationships to photo-albums by looking at how photographs can make for identification and a sense of continuity with the past, how they preserve memories, how albums are constructed based on an idealised notion of family, and how family albums can move from having purely personal to historical and archival relevance.

Nivedita Rao

Grant Period: Over three years

For research into the Bharuds––allegorical verses from the mid fifteenth century attributed to Sant Eknath. Compiled by the followers of the Bhakti saint, Bharuds exist in Maharashtra as written texts, apart from being recited as poems, sung as bhajans and kirtans, and dramatised during the pilgrimage of vari and other religious occasions. Combining ethnographic study of the vari with the social histories of the performers, the research will engage with the makings of this marginalised cultural tradition and examine the differences between its oral, written and performative forms.

Saba Dewan

Grant Period: Over one year

For post-production work on a film titled, In Search of Umrao, exploring the social and cultural history of the tawaifs of North India. The film focuses on the arts forms associated with them and the relationship between aesthetic expression and sexual identity. Through the story of a lost thumri sung by Rasoolan Bai, whose career as a performer overlapped with significant transitions in both the practice of music and public female sexualities, the film will examine the major shifts in the tradition’s history.

Perumal Murugan

Grant Period: Over two years

For research towards the writing of a novelised history of Tiruchenkode in Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu. A town with an ancient history, Tiruchenkode is today marked by its hill temple dedicated to Murugan and Ardhanareeswara but is also known for its vibrant modern industry. In the course of writing a historical account of Tiruchenkode, the author will document references to the town in literature, folklore and mythology, analyse the town’s design and study its ritual and religious life.

Gurvinder Singh

Grant Period: Over two years

For putting in place a multi-pronged process to reinvigorate the bhakti and sufi music of the Punjab. Systematic audio documentation bolstered by an innovative marketing strategy—direct sales by the performers in the rural market and online sales from a website—is expected to economically benefit the performers and expand their audience.

Veena Naregal

Grant Period: Over two years

For research into performing traditions and changing structures of patronage in Maharashtra. By investigating Marathi theatrical practices that emerged in the 1840s, the study seeks to document how elite and popular performative forms were reconstituted in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Shriprakash

Grant Period: Over one year

For making Recording Guiya, a documentary film that will explore the conditions that contributed to the unprecedented success of Guiya, an audio cassette released in the mid-1990s in Jharkhand. The film will examine the current state of popular music and the future of oral traditions.

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