Arts Research

David Farris

Grant Period: One year and six months

For a research-based study on the collapse of the infrastructure of celluloid film distribution in India, in the wake of digital distribution. The project aims to capture the dynamic and complex histories across multiple film industries in India, in a rapidly changing environment. The outcome of the project will be an essay and a detailed set of notes on the current film distribution system. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the audio-visual recording of interviews, photographs, the essay and notes. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium,  travel and living, materials, professional fees for resource persons, and an accountant’s fee. 

Sharbendu De

Grant Period: One year and six months

For a practice-based study on the lives of the Lisus, an indigenous forest-dwelling community in the Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve located on the Indo-Myanmar border of Arunachal Pradesh. Through the use of photography and video, the project will explore alternative aesthetic approaches to the depiction of tribal culture while consciously moving away from exoticised colonial and anthropological visual constructions of tribal communities. Further, it will examine the construction of stereotypes and the politics of representation of marginalised communities. The outcome of this project will be a photography and audio-visual installation with podcasts and videos. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be images, materials from the audio-visual documentation and an accompanying manuscript.  Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, professional fees, travel and living, labour, equipment rental and purchase, installation and an accountant’s fee.

Rohit Kumar

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the discourse of dissent in the Natua Naach form of Bihar. The project will explore ways in which Dalit folklore takes the form of political expression and resistance, challenging caste and social oppression and hierarchy. It will also look at transformations in the form over the last few years with the advent of technology and modernisation, and the role it plays in contemporary society as a platform for the marginalised. The outcome of this project will be a manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript, an audio-visual documentation of the Natua Nach performances and interviews conducted in the field. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, travel and living, equipment rental, stationery and books, typing and printing, and an accountant’s fee.

Rajesh Devraj

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the life and work of Baburao Painter - producer, director and the founder of the Maharashtra Film Company. The project will explore the evolution of regional cinema in Kolhapur by situating Baburao’s work amidst literary and visual cultures of his time, tracing his influence on and connections with contemporary artists, thinkers, writers and political figures. The outcome of this project will be a biographical account of him, which will be subsequently published as a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be the manuscript of the book including images. The grant funds will cover honorarium, research assistance and translation costs, travel and living costs, professional fees, and an accountant’s fee.

V Padma (A Mangai)

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to write a critical history of Tamil theatre during the early 20th century, studying the writings of Pammal Sammadha Mudaliar, who is considered the founding father of modern Tamil theatre. The project will critically examine the categorisation of Tamil theatre into ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ forms, highlighting the struggles of theatre practitioners against the backdrop of anti-colonial and the emergent anti-Brahminical movements in the region. The outcome will be a manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final reports will be the manuscript with images and excerpts of translations from the writings of Pammal and interviews conducted in the field. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, research assistance, travel and living, stationery and documentation, typing and  printing, and an accountant’s fee. 

KP Jayakumar

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research on the British Colonial visual narratives of landscape and people in the High Ranges of Kerala. The project will study how European photographers, ethnographers and travellers documented the daily lives of people in the region and critique the colonial gaze. It will examine the ways in which the binaries of the civilised and the uncivilised were created on the basis of physical representations of the native people staged against exotic backdrops. The outcome of this project will be a photo essay and an exhibition. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be the essay and photographic documentation from various collections across Kerala. Grant funds will pay for travel and living costs, documentation costs, DTP and printing costs, exhibition costs, reference material costs, and an accountant’s fee.

 

Deepti Navaratna

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research on the Royal Carnatic Orchestra of the Mysore Court which has now evolved into the Mysore Police Band. It will trace the journey of the Orchestra from being considered as ‘exotic’ in 19th-century India to the current perception of it being an ignored ‘relic’ of the British Raj. The project will also examine the ways in which the Band, which was instated to safeguard the ‘culturally pristine form’ of Carnatic music against the backdrop of sociopolitical and cultural transformation in South India, has been excluded from mainstream discourses. The outcome will be a manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the manuscript, audio-visual footage of recordings and performances, and notations of the music of the Band. Grant funds will pay for costs towards an honorarium, professional fees, travel and accommodation, equipment rental, fee to institutions for copying relevant documents and records, and an accountant’s fee.

Bhagath Singh A

Grant Period: one year and six months

For research into the evolution and development of the Gaana music culture in Chennai. A popular form of music, practiced among the marginalised people of urban Chennai, Gaana in the recent years has become a powerful medium of socio-cultural and political expression. Through extensive documentation of the Gaana songs and the lives of its performers, and an in-depth analysis of the content, this project attempts to study this form against the larger context of society, politics and culture of Chennai in particular and Tamil Nadu in general. The outcome of this project will be a series of essays / articles in little magazines in Tamil. The research will eventually lead to a book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the Final Report will be the essays and, video and still documentation from the project. Grant funds will cover honorarium, travel and living costs, documentation costs, local conveyance, resource materials, photocopy and stationeries, and an accountant’s fee. 

Aditi Maddali

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the work songs of women in Telangana focusing on the Uyyala Paatalu songs, which are predominantly sung while working in the fields or as labour in the informal sector. The project will explore the socio-political and cultural relevance of the songs in the present context by looking at the subversive histories of participation of women in the people’s struggle of Telangana and their assertions against patriarchal and caste oppressions in the region. The outcome of this project and the Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the final report will be a film. The grant funds will cover honorarium, equipment rental and studio hiring costs, professional fees, travel and living costs, production costs, and an accountant’s fee.  

Sandesh Bhandare

Grant Period: over one year and six months

For research into the changing practices and ecology of the performance form of Tamasha across Maharashtra. Building on earlier work also supported by IFA, this project entails revisiting, after nearly fifteen years, villages in the Konkan, western and northern Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to document photographically the cumulative impact of socio-political and economic forces on the art form and the lives of its performers. The outcome of this project will be photographs with field notes. 

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