For research into the colonial visual narratives of the landscape and people in the High Ranges of Kerala in British India. While the project will study how European photographers, ethnographers, and travellers documented the everyday lives of people in the region, it will also critique the colonial gaze. It will examine the ways in which the stereotypical colonial constructions of the ‘civilised/uncivilised’ binary were foregrounded on physical representations of the natives, who were photographed as staged subjects against exotic backdrops. The outcome 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 a researcher to create an interactive, three dimensional Virtual Reality installation based on the popular Kerala legend of Perumtachan’s temple pond. The installation will allow spectators to experience and interact with a simulated environment through a head mounted display unit. The project aims to explore the artistic possibilities of Virtual Reality and questions religious indoctrination of legends by making them available for public access. The outcomes of the project will be the interactive site specific installation and a research paper. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be photo and video documentations, sketches, 3D models and prototypes, source codes, design iterations of the installation and the manuscript of the paper. Grant funds will pay for materials, equipment hire, professional fees, travel, publicity and an accountant’s fee.
For documenting the complex and conflicted history of the evolution of the Malayalam script in the computer era through the exploration of the Rachana movement in Kerala. Outcomes of the project will include a free and open Malayalam font based on the original script, a website archiving published material related to the language campaign for the original script, and a book printed in this script narrating the history, evolution and present status of the Malayalam Lipi and Unicode language technology.
For research into the history and evolution of public transport in Kerala and the creation of a performance that will be staged on a bus. Engaging with local contexts, histories, literature and the everyday lives of people, the project will employ the bus as a travelling performance space that aims to explore new frameworks for performance and cultivate new audiences.
For research towards a book in Malayalam on women’s participation in three different performance traditions in Kerala—Kathakali, Singaari Melam and Mudiyattam. Through documentation and analysis of female interventionist strategies within the folk and classical arts, the project will shed light on emergent female aesthetics within these traditions and fill a serious gap in academic and popular perceptions of female performers in Kerala.
For an exploration of the body in pain through a re-visioning of Samuel Beckett’s play Act without Words I and Act Without Words II. An Argentinean story will be used to devise the plot and action, and introduce new meanings into Beckett’s plays. The production will also situate the experience of physical pain within the social context of the performers. A script in Malayalam will be developed and layered through games, and constant improvisations and experiments with actors.
For research leading to a monograph on the comic strip Cheriya Manushyarum, Valiya Lokavum (Small Men and the Big World) created by G.Aravindan, the internationally acclaimed film maker, which appeared in a Malayalam literary weekly from 1961 to 1973. Video interviews with cartoonists, scholars, family members, historians and readers and a bibliography of critical texts, essays and books on comics and graphic novels will be archived on the website of the Centre for Performance Research and Cultural Studies in South Asia.
For the development and staging of an adaptation of Macbeth in Malayalam. Using mobile scenic designs, choreography, multimedia images, ritual and a chorus, the production will explore the psychological complexities of the central characters and attempt to lay bare the emotions and thoughts that work at the level of the subconscious.
For the development of a production of Quick Death, a physical play text written by the Australian playwright Richard Murphet. Quick Death is the first of a trilogy of productions through which actors will be prepared to approach physical texts effectively and methods of training developed to facilitate them to become autonomous and interpretative.
For an interdisciplinary, multimedia stage production based on a poet’s anthology and put together by a dancer/choreographer, a music composer/stage designer and the poet. The resulting performance will be a visual and aural collage that will incorporate the poet’s sketches and the video footage that she shot in the wake of the Mumbai riots of 1993.