Ekta Mittal

Archival and Museum Fellowships

Grant Period: One year

Ekta Mittal, filmmaker and co-founder of the Bangalore-based media arts organisation, Maraa, been awarded an archival fellowship for research at the Archives of Indian Labour (ILA). This research will extend her work with migrant labourers in Bangalore that culminated in a short film titled In Transience. Titled Art in Labour, Ekta’s project aims to create a dialogue between two different archives—one comprising the personal and collective narratives of migrant workers gathered through the two-year process of filming In Transience, and the other, a well-established archive on Indian labour and its history.

Ekta says, “The dialogue between her as an artist working with the theme of migrant labour and ILA is crucial in strengthening the historical and theoretical perspectives that ground her artistic practice.” The aim of the project is to combine historical and contemporary narratives and revive the forgotten memories of labour history that lie in the ILA. This intervention is aptly timed as ILA intends to expand its audience through the use of new media to start a collection of digital and video material. In keeping with IFA’s objective of gaining wider visibility for an archival collection through an artistic or curatorial intervention, this fellowship will result in a kit for a travelling exhibition. The package will consist of material from the ILA as well as footage gathered during the filming of In Transience. As a contribution to the new media collection at ILA, the footage from the film will be made available to all users of the archive. This unusual synergy between the archive and the artist can be considered exemplary and more than fulfills IFA’s objectives in launching the archival fellowships.