For a series of workshops by a dance practitioner in five cities across India, pegged on the performance piece Queen-Size. The workshops are aimed at generating conversations around sexuality, desire, and gender activism, raising critical queries about Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code constituted in 1861 that criminalises homosexuality. The outcome will be five such workshops across the country. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be still photographs of the workshops, written comments of the audience, media reports and publicity material. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, accommodation, travel, food, freight, workshops, professional fees, and an accountant's fee.
For a practice-based study on the lives of the Lisus, an indigenous forest-dwelling community in the Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve located on the Indo-Myanmar border of Arunachal Pradesh. Through the use of photography and video, the project will explore alternative aesthetic approaches to the depiction of tribal culture while consciously moving away from exoticised colonial and anthropological visual constructions of tribal communities. Further, it will examine the construction of stereotypes and the politics of representation of marginalised communities. The outcome of this project will be photographs and an audio-visual installation with podcasts and videos. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be images, materials from the audio-visual documentation and an accompanying manuscript. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, professional fees, travel and living, labour, equipment rental and purchase, installation and an accountant’s fee.
For research that will lead to a curated, interactive, virtual exhibition with experiential visual and audio inputs. In addition, the Fellow will create public programmes through the use of memory pods, using an app and the website, aimed to connect different communities and members of families with each other and the Centre for Community Knowledge. The outcome will include a virtual exhibition and the installation of memory pods. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be images, audio recordings, the memory pod/app activation, and a publication.
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.
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.
For research that enquires into the Raseshori Pala of the Sankirtan tradition of Manipur to draw attention to certain aspects of Vaishnavism and its devotional expression through the contribution of women. The project will explore roles of women as custodians for maintaining and carrying forward this artistic tradition. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For support towards an international conference on the evolution of the Urdu language and its proliferation in popular culture across music, film, literature and television. The conference attempts to explore the worlds of popular and classical discourses in Urdu, and study their impact on the life, vibrancy and sustainability of the language. The conference took place in September 2017 in collaboration with Centre for Indian Languages, School of Language, JNU, New Delhi. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA will be the papers presented by all speakers at the conference and video documentation of the entire conference.
For research to study the syncretic traditions inherent in traditional Axomiya society by mapping the cultural and social history of the performance tradition of Jikir in Assam. The research will be conducted with her collaborator, Shakya Shamik Kar Khound. The outcome will be an anthology on Jikir.
For research that traces the manners in which the Shi’a community in contemporary India deploys the Panja or the Fatima’s Hand, as part of a larger collection of visual and material artifacts, to show veneration for the Prophet Muhammad’s family during Muharram in Dongri and Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai, within the context of various debates on iconoclasm within Islam. The outcome of this project will be a book.
For research on the evolution and cultural significance of the handmade Axomiya Gohona (jewellery) of Assam and the rise of the new jewellery industry in the region. The project examines the various shifts in the designs, aesthetics and presentations of the jewellery over time and the contentious relationship between rural labour and the urban market place. The outcome will be a monograph.