For the creation of a body of photographic works centred on the men of Poompuhar in south Tamilnadu. Drawing from the descriptions of lives and landscape of Poompuhar in the ancient Tamil epic Silappadikaram, this project involves revisiting the town in an attempt to explore questions around identity and territory and provide a contemporary visual interpretation of the epic. The outcome of this grant will be a photo exhibition in Poompuhar. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be digital copies of the photographs and still and video documentation of the process and the exhibition.
For support towards a series of workshops with Tamil speaking children to create a visual storytelling book that aims to challenge dominant notions of children’s books that put great importance on activity. This project instead will attempt to draw attention to contemplation and abstraction in the world of children. The outcomes of the grant will be a book and an exhibition with original artwork from the book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be detailed documentation of the processes including photographs and audio-video recording of the project, various drafts and final layout of the book, and design and catalogue of the exhibition.
For the creation of a dance piece that reinterprets a traditional Bharatanatyam composition called Mohamana. In the context of its history and the current practice of Bharatanatyam where the woman’s body has been constructed through the male gaze, this work attempts to de-objectify the female dancer’s body by questioning and critiquing the deeply embedded representations of Indian feminity in performance and in everyday life. The outcome will be a performance that will premiere at the Kochi Biennale in December, 2016 and will continue to be performed at the Biennale up to March 2017.
For research to develop a modern, metaphoric interpretation of classical Tamil poetry and artistic depiction of the desert landscape of Palai in Sangam literature. In a cinematic form, the exploration will foreground the context of Tamil workers who have migrated to the Middle East.
For the creation of a performance that explores the functioning body as contraposed to the performative and productive body. Primarily through the act of jumping, the project seeks to understand and engage with the body outside the frameworks of the performative, competitive, virtuosic or aesthetic. The performance will be created by a team of ten people from diverse backgrounds in the arts, fitness and sports.
For a production on the theme of the mobile phone and its impact on our lives, which is an extension of the theatre group’s endeavour of building theatre pieces based on objects. It questions the effect of technology on our individual and community lives, while simultaneously using the object and its social practices as material for the performance. While the production will be the main outcome of the grant, a detailed documentation of the processes including rehearsal notes, photographs and audio-video recordings, will also be delivered.
For exploring the socio-cultural, historical and psychological understandings of doll traditions in southern Tamil Nadu, towards creating a new language of performance. Through an investigation into the myths, movements, language, songs and politics of these doll traditions, the study seeks a deeper understanding of the nuanced performative elements embedded in these traditions. The outcome of the research will be a performance script.
For engaging with the Decorative Arts Department of the National Museum, New Delhi for re-staging their collection of brocade saris to make the museum a dynamic space for both research and practice. Bessie’s project will primarily research the effect that the river has on the textile industry with special focus on the Ganges and its influence on the weaving of the brocade sari, and culminate in an exhibition at the National Museum in February 2016.
For analysing the phenomenon of the emergence of satellite television in the 1990s, which was a crucial factor in Kerala’s social life. By exploring the cultural history of the Malayalam satellite channel Asianet, the project attempts to understand how television is instrumental in refashioning the modern political subject in post-colonial contexts. The outcome will be a monograph.
For research on a community of sculptors who create the popular Swamimalai bronze idols. The project is aimed at understanding how even as a traditional art form is appropriated by governmental institutions, the traditional community both capitalises on and competes with the support these institutions offer. It will further investigate how sculptors negotiate with notions of ‘tradition’, ‘identity’ and ‘commerce’ viewed through the lens of the neoliberal craft industry in India. The outcome of this project will be a monograph-length essay.