For research, collation and documentation of materials from archives related to the practice of a revolutionary poet who has been an active advocate for a separate state of Telangana. This artistic engagement will be documented through photographs, text, video, and recorded audios of political discourse, conversations and interviews.
For research into the popular subculture of automatons displayed during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. His research will lead to the production of a film exploring the mythologies around these religious displays. The film will highlight the working of the low-tech automaton industry, while allowing for a creative and fictitious depiction of the research material in the form of a film. The collected material will also result in an installation piece.
For research towards production and dissemination across six tier B cities of a performance piece, tentatively titled ‘Notes on Chai’. The performance will explore the idea of the quotidian in everyday life, by combining realistic character-based pieces with abstract sounds.
For research towards a curatorial project exploring the history of early sound and sound technology through archival research and interviews, as well as artistic collaborations between the researcher and a Bombay-based curator, artists, sound recordists, sound theorists, musicians, linguists, researchers and writers whose practices contribute to an understanding of sound ecologies in India.
For research at various archives of science and astronomy and at Jain religious archives in India leading to a multi-part art project titled The Weather Inside Me. The project will trace the history of science, weather and solar observations in India from pre-colonial to post-colonial times. The religious archives will be referenced to investigate the centrality of the sun in Jainism and its resulting impact on time and memory in our lives.
For the sturdy of vintage educational film footage the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) archives, produced as part of the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) programme. This programme was established by NASA and ISRO in 1975-76 to impart a ‘modern and scientific outlook to rural India’. The fellowship outcome will be a symposium and, subject to availability of further funding from other sources, a film using the found footage.
For turning the performance script S*x, M*rality and Cens*rship, which was developed with the help of an earlier research grant from IFA, into a stage production. The script specifically looks at at the censorship battles fought over the play Sakharam Binder and the audience and critical responses to the production. Audio and video material secured during the research phase will be incorporated in the envisaged docudrama to recreate the cultural context of the 1970s.
For researching and photo-documenting the tambu talkies (tent cinemas) that follow the route of the religious jatras (fairs) in Maharashtra. The history of the tambu talkies will be constructed by mapping the film distribution cycle and exhibition patterns, gathering old photographs and documents, and recording oral histories of the proprietors and distributors of the tambu talkies. Photo-documentation will capture the current state of the touring tent cinemas, covering such aspects as the audience profile, the ingenious projection systems and the innovative advertising strategies.
For research into the life of Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam and the events, characters and art philosophies that led to his untimely death in Japan. The researcher will identify appropriate areas of arts discourse for reading and analysis, and will travel to interview various individuals who have played significant roles in Jangarh Singh Shyam’s life. The research will subsequently provide the basis for a novel.
For preparatory research towards a screenplay for a feature-length film on Hindi writer Nirmal Verma. Through in-depth historical research on Verma’s European period, study of Verma’s published and unpublished writings, interviews with individuals who played significant roles in Verma’s life, the researcher will extend his literary knowledge of Nirmal Verma into a cinematic language.