Jamia Millia Islamia


Grant Period: Over three years and four months

The Centre for Culture, Media and Governance (CCMG) was established in 2006, as part of Jamia Millia Islamia’s endeavour to foster interdisciplinary orientations and nurture emergent fields of study. CCMG is configured as a focal point of research, teaching, training and policy advocacy in the domain of communication in South Asia. Identified as the Nodal Centre for Curatorial Research, CCMG engages with the contiguous domains of policy and practice of curating in twentieth century India. This project will take place across two phases: Mapping (26 months), which will result in an illustrated report; and Advocacy (14 months), which shall begin by identifying a core set of issues for advocacy, focusing on stakeholder meetings and the creation of a policy-oriented document/White Paper.

The research on curatorial policy during Phase 1 consists of three components: mapping exhibition policy in India during the twentieth century; documenting select curatorial experiences over the last decade; and, analysing the evolving articulation of curatorial practice in the public domain. Through a study of curatorial activity under plastic arts and electronic arts - researchers will investigate institutional structures, political and economic environments, and the evolving relationship between aesthetics and spectatorship, exhibition practice and public culture. The researchers will attend workshops and activities conducted by nodal centers within the curatorship programme to study and document emergent ideas and discourse around curatorial practice today. This study will result in an illustrated report encapsulating both the investigative process and the analytical outcomes of the project. Select components of the study shall also provide material for two papers in the Centre’s Masters course. A policy dialogue meeting will take place towards the end of Phase 1 to discuss the progress made, identifying a core set of issues for advocacy.

On reviewing learnings from Phase 1, Phase 2 will focus on stakeholder meetings and the creation of a policy-oriented document or White Paper. All the principal stakeholders in the field of Indian curatorship will attend a series of meetings with project staff and select participants from other Nodal centres. These interactions will yield a rich body of experiential and analytical knowledge on this nascent area of cultural practice. The knowledge will then be consolidated to form a policy-oriented document/White Paper, for advocacy directed at formal institutions. The impact of the project shall succeed in getting state arts representatives to recognise the need to support critical curatorial projects and initiatives in the public and private arts sector.