For the digitisation of 46,000 Bengali little magazines and the preparation of an open-access Internet archive. The project will make this valuable collection more accessible and expand the available resources for researchers. It will also help raise the library’s public profile and connect it to other institutions working with technology to make cultural resources available in the public domain.
For the theatrical adaptation of a twenty four-line Bengali poem, which is based on the Mughal emperor Babur’s prayer for the revival of his sick son and the poet’s own grief over his daughter’s illness, and makes a strong statement against the organised killing of the young, war, terrorism and genocide. The production—imagined as a montage interweaving events from different times and places—will make innovative use of lighting, space design, character movement and a chorus.
For research into the origin and development of science pedagogy in Bengali. Covering popular science articles in Bengali, ‘science jokes’ heard on college campuses, topics selected for doctoral dissertations and the presence of Russian textbooks in syllabi, the study will result in the creation of three or four artist’s books, a series of short text-and-image narratives, and a website.
For research into comic book culture in India towards developing a script/storyboard for a video or comic book. The relationship between the mediums of film, painting and comic books will be explored through a combination of research, video documentation and making of an art work.
For the production of a film on Koothu-p-pattarai (KPP), a pioneering theatre group in Tamil Nadu. Video recordings of KPP’s activities over the last fifteen years will be complied, interreted and edited to capture the evolution of a very particular syntax of experimental theatre, the tensions within the group and the changes it has witnessed. Fresh footage will also be shot to illustrate KPP’s present character and highlight viewpoints critical of the group’s artistic vision and accomplishments.
For the dissemination of Bishar Blues, a film on music and deeply spiritual everyday life of the fakirs of Bengal. The project will use the film to pen a dialogue between the misunderstood and mistrusted fakirs and the larger community in rural West Bengal, and stimulate discussion on marginal cultures through a seminar/screening in Kolkata.
For the writing of a book in Bengali on the history of Jatra (1900-2006) with a particular focus on the performance of Jatra in non-metropolitan Bengal, and the digitisation of play scripts, photographs, interviews and publicity materials. Over the medium term, the objective is to mount an exhibition with the digitised materials to generate public awareness about the history and popularity of Jatra in Bengal.
For research and documentation leading to a sound and oral history archive on the fakirs of Bengal and an ethno-musicological travelogue in Bengali focusing on the life of the fakirs and their music. The project is expected to contribute to the study of oral cultures and popular religion, and generate a critical discourse on the radical syncretism practiced by a minority community.
For the innovative dissemination of an archive of recordings, photographs, footage and books relating to biraha (songs of separation). Ten musical camps will be organised in rural West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh, apart from presentations/performances in cities. The camps will give different communities of musicians wider exposure to the songs from their region as well as similar and related songs from other regions.
For experimentation in new media like glass, plastic, acrylic and stainless steel. The importance of space, weight and colour in the making of sculpture will be explored, as well the sculptural possibilities in specific media, like widely available, pre-processed plastic forms. Training in kiln-casting glass as well as by using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology and sophisticated computer software to create sculptures will be shared with students and peers through demonstrations and workshops.