Arts Research

Nirmala

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study folk songs in Haryana that have kept alive the memories of the Partition of India. Looking beyond the conventional modes of writing history, and focusing on women, this projects attempts to explore the sociocultural sphere to investigate the lasting effects of the divide on the lives of survivors. The outcome of this project will be the manuscript for a book. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be the manuscript, audiovisual documentation from the field and interviews with local resource people.  Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, travel, food and living costs, equipment rental, books and stationery purchase costs, internet subscription and an account’s fee.

Sugumar Shanmugan

Grant Period: One year and six months

For practice-based research on the historical, theatrical and psychological aspects of characterisation in the performance of Therukoothu towards making a play in the form of documentary theatre. Through extensive interviews with the Therukoothu artists and studying the process of preparing actors for various characters, the project aims to explore pedagogy, performativity and the contemporary trends that have influenced the form in various ways. The outcome of this project will be a documentary theatre production. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be audiovisual documentation of the interviews conducted in the field and the documentation of the theatre production. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, equipment rental, travel food and stay, production costs, professional fees and an accountant’s fee.

Goutam Ghosh

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the interlinked imaginaries of time – geological, mythological, and science fictional - as they are expressed in the desert landscape of the Rann of Kutch. The project will investigate how the geological and the mythological narratives shape and alter the cultural geographies of the imagined science fictional future. The outcomes of this project will be a physical and digital book with text containing photographs and artworks, two short educational animated films depicting the fictional landscape of the Rann of Kutch and a website that will host the research data. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be the two books, the two short films and the website. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, professional fees, travel and living costs, and an accountant’s fee.        

Tushar Madhav

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research towards a documentary film on the artistic legacy of the famous Gond Pradhan artist Jangarh Singh Shyam. The project will critically examine the artistic evolution that was spurred by Jangarh’s inventive artistic style, leaving behind the traditional musical practices of the Gond Pradhan community, and moving towards building a modern, urban tradition of visual arts practice in Bhopal. Through an art-historical inquiry into the genesis and propagation of this shift that occurred for the community as well as the city of Bhopal, the project aims to explore the ‘urban’ fetish for ‘tribal’ as the city continues to subsume a subaltern tribal identity into its cultural landscape. The outcome of this project will be audiovisual documentation of interviews with the artists and experts, a short video and working drafts for the script for the documentary film. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be the audiovisual documentation, video and working drafts of the script. Grant funds will pay for travel and living costs, equipment rental, professional fees, book purchase and an accountant’s fee.

S Bharat

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research on the soundscapes of the annual pilgrimage –  Kanwar Yatra – where predominantly male devotees of Shiva undertake an arduous journey on foot to ceremonially transport water from the Ganga at Haridwar to various Shiva shrines across North India. Through an ethnographic engagement with the Yatra, this project will focus on its auditory dimensions to explore the ecology of religiosity and popular culture. It is an attempt to understand religious practices and formation of identities in current times.  The outcome of this project will be an essay, combining theoretical insights and ethnographic data. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA will be an essay, audiovisual documentation comprising interviews with the pilgrims and photographs of the Yatra. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, travel and food costs, professional fees, library fees, photocopying, book purchase, stationery and an accountant’s fee.

Parshati Dutta

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the significance and interrelationship of cultural heritage and conflict in Kashmir. The project aims to understand how heritage impacts the identities and values of communities in times of conflict. The outcome of this project will be an essay and an interactive installation with audiovisual recordings from the field and stills of the mapped heritage sites. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be an essay and an audiovisual documentation from the installation. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, travel, food and living costs, exhibition costs, professional fees, book purchase, library fees, stationary and photocopy costs, equipment rental and an accountant’s fee.

Gowhar Yaqoob

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research to study the ways in which poets and rebels contemplate the question of the self through idioms of ‘love’, in the current sociocultural and political context in Kashmir. By exploring the plurality of love depicted in a diverse repertoire of images, and poetic and literary expressions, the project will focus on the works of two poets – Agha Shahid Ali and Rahman Rahi, and the videos and images of the rebel Burhan Wani. It will attempt to delve into the ways in which the discourse on love in literary sources and political practices could be employed in writing the cultural history of contemporary Kashmir. The outcome of this project will be an essay and a photo-essay. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final reports will be an essay and a photoessay. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, travel, food and living costs, stationary, book purchase, photocopying, professional fees, internet subscription charges and an accountant’s fee. 

Manish Gaekwad

Grant Period: One year and six months

For research into the lives of Indian courtesans and their families, tracing their roots in history to the current times. The Grantee will draw on his personal experiences as well as the stories of women and children who were raised in Kothas. With a focus on their music, performance culture, patronage and the circumstances that eventually led to the transformation of a traditional cultural practice into sex work, the project will record accounts of people from various communities, highlighting their struggles, aspirations, survival and the erosion of the Kotha culture over time. The outcome of this project will be the manuscript for a book. The Grantee's deliverables to IFA with the final report will be the manuscript and an audiovisual documentation from the field. Grant funds will pay for an honorarium, travel, food and living costs, stationery, book purchase, library fee, photocopying, internet and phone bills, professional fees, equipment rental and an accountant’s fee.

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.

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