For the creation of an experimental film that explores the lives of a group of performers of the Chhau form from Purulia, West Bengal, going beyond their much studied practice of using elaborate masks in their performances. The project attempts to study their transformation into mythical characters for the performance as well as trace the shifts and changes in the dance form in recent times. Evocative and slow in nature, the film is an experiment in cinematic storytelling through folk narratives. The outcome of the grant will be the film. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the film, final script, rush footage, production notes and stills. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, equipment hire, professional fees, production and post-production costs and an accountant’s fee.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials across genres from 19th and 20th century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements, and commercial art productions.The archive has also recently acquired the digitised records of the Calcutta Improvement Trust (CIT) which records the urban and municipal history of 20th century Calcutta. This fellowship supports research that will focus specifically on the legacy of the Calcutta Improvement Trust, studying the growth of the city of Kolkata in the years preceding the formation of the Trust, as well as the alterations in the years that came after. The outcomes will be an exhibition, seminar, publication and other neighbourhood engagements in different parts of the city. The Fellow’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be images of the exhibition, process images, audio recordings and texts, if any.
For working with the cultural history archive at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC) which contains a wide variety of visual materials across genres from 19th and 20th century Bengal that includes books, journals, popular paintings, prints, posters, hoardings, advertisements, and commercial art productions. This fellowship supports research that will explore the relationship between the city of Kolkata and its citizens, and the many different registers through which the city is experienced. The project will locate Kolkata as a site of both colonial encounter and colonial modernity, and investigate the many mechanisms through which an ‘authentic’ experience of the city is constructed, distributed and negotiated in the everyday. The outcomes will include an exhibition, and other public events around the archive. The Fellow’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be process images, audio recordings, texts and a publication, if any.
For the creation of an experimental prose-narrative in Bangla, in collaboration with a visual artist. The project tentatively titled Harilo Shaareer Kachhe Pajama Mohima (‘The Glory of The Pajama Loses to the Sari’) attempts to explore the travails of Bengal’s first women doctors in the early 19th century. It will study the complex dynamics between these women and the various stakeholders of the medical system at the time – practitioners of traditional medicine, male doctors of modern medicine, and lower caste midwives. The fictional work based on historical narratives will combine text with visual material from personal collections, libraries, and archives to form a framework for a book. The project will culminate in this book.The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the manuscript of the book and published copies of the same, and photographic and digital documentation of artworks created for the book. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, material, local travel, professional fees, and an accountant’s fee.
For a series of workshops and an exhibition in the historic Chitpur locality of old Kolkata, in collaboration with Nilanjan Das and Varshita Khaitan. This is a continuation of the ‘Chitpur Local’ project designed to reactivate the cultural life of this heritage locality, featuring eight artists in collaboration with residents, businesspersons, artists, craftspeople, the local police, and school students to create multiple cultural experiences, innovative audience engagements, and an online digital archive. The outcome will be workshops and a community exhibition. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be still and video documentation of the workshops and the exhibition. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, workshop material, documentation, travel, food, printing, publicity, professional fees for resource persons, and an accountant's fee.
For the creation of a multimedia exhibition, a seminar, and performances centred on the archival collection of music and papers of the Senia Gharana exponent, Pandit Birendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury. The rich collection, comprising the published and unpublished writings of Birendra Kishore, his personal notebooks, music ephemera, and photographs, will enable critical dialogues around music pedagogy, archiving, and engaging with archival materials for musical experimentations. The seminar also aims to foreground regional perspectives in the understanding and writing of music histories. The outcome will be a seminar, an exhibition, and performances. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be still and video documentation of the exhibition, seminar and performances, and the papers that will be presented at the seminar.
For the creation of a graphic novel that explores the tumultuous history of the rule of the Left Front in Bengal and its eventual collapse in 2011. The project attempts to understand the formation of the middle-class mindscape during this time and the challenges it faces in the current political context. It aims to analyse multiple marginal voices from the fractures of history, with autobiographical references to the artist’s own life. The outcome will be a book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be rough sketches, photographic and textual documentation and the manuscript of the book.
For a series of exhibitions of photographs of veteran Jatra artists taken during an earlier IFA supported project by Soumya Sankar Bose, across five remote areas of West Bengal where Jatra artists still live. This will enable the photographer to take his work back to the community and create conversations around the lives of veteran Jatra artists. The outcome of the project will be the exhibitions.
For support towards the study of the history of Bengali posters from 1930s to the present time. The project aims to understand the political, social, cultural and aesthetic parameters of the posters and their transformations over the years. The outcomes of the grant will be a book, essays and collectible prints of old posters. Grant funds will pay for honorarium, travel, photocopy, photography, transcription, materials, publishing and an accountant’s fee.
For a two-phase workshop enquiring into the design and editing practices of Bengali Little Magazines, at a time when digital designing and desktop publishing is becoming the norm. Young practitioner participants will work together with mentor experts to create new aesthetic experiments. The outcomes of the grant will be a book and an exhibition from the materials of the workshop.