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.
For the production and broadcast of thirteen episodes of a radio programme on Carnatic music for middle school children across Karnataka, and publication and dissemination of printed support material. The programme will cover the basic concepts of Carnatic music such as raga, tala and composition, various composers, musical instruments and the concert format. The series be broadcast through all primary channels of All India Radio, Karnataka
For an educational and child-centred intervention in an annual Ramlila in Varanasi with the objective of revitalising the traditional theatre form within a contemporary context and helping it to become an annual learning activity for children.
For the development of production based on the Ramayana, exploring digital animation and puppetry in performance. Keeping Bhavabhuti’s Ramayana as the main source, this adaptation will reinterpret the love story of Ram and Sita as a tragic one and explore the duality in Ram’s character. A puppet theatre director and a media artist will work with traditional shadow-puppeteers, a contemporary musician, a writer and three contemporary puppeteers to create the production.
For the development and staging of three theatre performances that draw on accessible images and texts relating to the history of Naxalite movement. The performances will be seen mainly via live video in an effort to replicate our fragmentary understanding of this movement. Each of the three pieces will be performed on ten occasions and audience responses will be incorporated into subsequent performances.
For the recording, archiving and transmission of the repertoire of master musicians of the Manganiar tradition of Rajasthan.The new recordings will be held at two locations and made easily available to the musicians, while training camps for Manganiar children and young musicians will feed the repertoire back to the community.
For research and writing that explores the relationship between the language of contemporary Bengali poetry (1990-2007) and the emergence of a new, urban middle class. The project will engage with the role of television, the Internet and mobile phones, among other things, in transforming the notion of a poetic language. It will lead to a series of essays that is expected to introduce new ways of reading and new tools of analysis into literary studies in Bengali.