Grant Period: Over ten months
Nagaraja M Hudeda is an Assistant Teacher at the Government Primary School, Bylandora Gauliwada, Uttara Kannada District. His experience at the arts integrated training programmes conducted by IFA at Bengaluru and Yellapura this year triggered this project idea and his application to IFA for support. Nagaraja has been practicing his passion for writing very seriously. At a personal level he has kept himself updated of regional literature and arts. He regularly contributes on various topics to popular Kannada magazines. Given his interest in poetry he has conducted several poetry writing workshops in the school. The school he works in was set up exclusively for the Gauli community, migrants from Maharashtra, 13 years ago. He and the Head Master of the school are deeply engaged in working with this community.
Nagaraja feels that education is meaningless unless local perspectives are brought into practice. The Gauli community students in this school use a particular dialect that is neither Marathi nor Kannada but has affinities with both languages. Through this project he attempts to encourage the 39 Gauli students in his school to translate ‘text book Kannada’ to their colloquial expressions. The children will be working with communicative words in their language and translate 10 poems from their textbooks into the Gauli language. This exercise would result in them being more participative in the learning process. He also plans a series of workshops on Gauli dance performances that will accompany the recitation of the poetry to understand and perform the meanings of the words. He has identified a group of community dancers who will aid him in the process. He will also invite senior students and members of the Gauli community, poets, writers, and theatre artists to conduct workshops on discussing, understanding, translating and rewriting the poems. He believes that this process of engagement with their own colloquial language will enable the students to explore into the depths of layered meanings of their text books in Kannada. The outcomes will include a publication which will be a Kannada-Marathi-Gauli-Hindi word book that is shared with other cluster schools where children of the community study. There will also be performances of Gauli dances in a festival organised by the school for the community. In this project, students, teachers, artists and community elders will participate together.
The deliverables of the project to IFA together with reports will include audio-visual documentation of the workshops, images, and a ten to twelve minute video document of the entire project.
This grant was made possible with support from Citi India.