For practice-based research into the life of the Lisus, a forest-dwelling indigenous community inside Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve on the Indo-Myanmar border of Arunachal Pradesh. Through photography and video, the project will explore alternative aesthetic approaches of depicting tribal culture, as opposed to colonial-anthropological exoticisation. It will examine the making 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 cover an honorarium, professional fees, travel and living, labour, equipment rental and purchase, installation and an accountant’s fee.
For research to study the discourse of dissent in the Natua Nach of Bihar. The project will explore ways in which Dalit folklore takes the form of political expression and resistance, challenging caste oppression and social hierarchy by providing a platform to marginalised communities. It will also look at transformations in the form over the past few years with the advent of technology and modernisation; and the role it plays in contemporary society. The outcome of this project will be a manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript, an audio-visual documentation of the Natua Nach performances and interviews conducted in the field. Grant funds will cover an honorarium, travel and living, equipment rental, stationery and books, typing and printing, and an accountant’s fee.
For research to study the life and work of Baburao Painter--producer, director and the founder of the Maharashtra Film Company. The project will explore the evolution of regional cinema in Kolhapur in Maharashtra by situating Baburao’s work amidst literary and visual cultures of his time, tracing his influence on and connections with contemporary artists, thinkers, writers and political figures. The outcome of this project will be a biographical account of him, which will be subsequently published as a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript of the book including images. Grant funds will cover an honorarium, professional fees, travel and accommodation, and an accountant’s fee.
For research to write a critical history of Tamil theatre during the early twentieth century, using the writings of Pammal Sammadha Mudaliar as resource material. The project will critique the categorisation of Tamil theatre into rural and urban forms and explore the struggles of practitioners against the backdrop of anti-colonial and the nascent anti-Brahmanical movements in the region. The outcome of this project will be the manuscript of a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript with images and excerpts of translations from the writings of Pammal and interviews conducted in the field. The grant funds will cover an honorarium, research assistance, travel and living, stationery and documentation, typing and printing, and an accountant’s fee.
For research on the British colonial visual narratives of landscape and people in the High Ranges of Kerala. The project will study how European photographers, ethnographers and travellers documented the daily lives of people in the region and, in turn critique the colonial gaze. It will examine the ways in which the binaries of the civilised and the uncivilised were created on the basis of physical representations of native people staged against exotic backdrops. The outcome of this project will be a photo essay and an exhibition. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be the essay and photographic documentation from various collections across Kerala. Grant funds will pay for travel and accommodation, professional fee, books and stationery, typing, printing and designing, exhibition, and an accountant’s fee.
For research on the Royal Carnatic Orchestra of the Mysore Court, which continues to sustain its musical legacy as the Mysore Police Band today. It will trace the journey of the Orchestra from being ‘exotic’ during the colonial times of the nineteenth century to its current presence as an ignored ‘relic’ of the British Raj. Against the backdrop of socio-political and cultural transformations in South India, the project will also examine the ways in which the Band has been excluded from mainstream discourses to protect the culturally pristine image of Carnatic music. The outcome of this project will be a manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the manuscript, audio-visual footage of recordings and performances, and notations of the music of the Band. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, professional fees, travel and accommodation, equipment rental, fee to institutions for copying relevant documents and records, and an accountant’s fee.
For research into the evolution and development of the Gaana music culture in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A popular form of music, practiced among the marginalised people of urban Chennai, Gaana in the recent years has become a powerful medium of socio-cultural and political expression. Through extensive documentation of the Gaana songs and the lives of its performers, and an indepth analysis of the content, this project attempts to study this form in the larger context of society, politics and culture of Chennai in particular and Tamil Nadu in general. The outcome of this project will be a series of essays / articles in Little magazines in Tamil. The research will eventually lead to a book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the essays and, video and still documentation from the project. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, food and accommodation, local travel, equipment rental, professional fees, books, materials and stationery and an accountant’s fee.
This grant supports research to study the work songs of women in Telangana focusing on the Uyyala Paatalu songs, which are predominantly sung while working in the fields or as labour in the informal sector. The project will explore the socio-political and cultural relevance of the songs in the present context by looking at the subversive histories of participation of women in the people’s struggle of Telangana and their assertions against patriarchal and caste oppressions in the region. The outcome of this project and the Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be a film. Grant funds will cover equipment rental, professional fees, local travel and food, and an accountant’s fee.
For research into the changing practices and ecology of the performance form of Tamasha across Maharashtra. Building on earlier work also supported by IFA, this project entails revisiting, after nearly fifteen years, villages in the Konkan, western and northern Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to document photographically the cumulative impact of socio-political and economic forces on the art form and the lives of its performers. The outcome of this project will be photographs with field notes.
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.