For reinvigoration of the sufiyana kalam of the mirs of Pugal, Rajasthan. A group of young musicians will be strengthened, the musical repertoire consolidated and performance opportunities created to address the issue of livelihood for the young Sufi performers. A trust will also be set up, run by members of the community, music scholars and enthusiasts, who will take ownership for the initiative.
For preparatory research towards a novel about the caste wars waged by the Nadar community in Tirunelveli and Madurai districts in Tamil Nadu during the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on an examination of archived police, court and other documents of the colonial administration, the novel will transform factual history into an emotionally ‘true’ portrait of these turbulent times in the life of the Nadar community, which in turn fed into the larger Indian struggle for independence.
For research towards a novel on the rise and fall of Carnatic music as a dynamic social form from the mid-1920s to the end of the 1960s. The researcher will consult archival material on the lives of Carnatic musicians and the technical innovations made within the music during this period; interview performers and critics who were associated with this phase of the music; and consult scholars working on Carnatic music. The project will also lead to English translations of selected memoirs written by Carnatic musicians, which will be useful for the novel but can also be more widely disseminated.
For research towards two novels––in Bengali and English––on the journey of a refugee colony to urbanity in post-partition Calcutta. Envisaged as a border-crossing genre, the proposed novels will explore the interface between ethnography, history, memoir and fiction. Dwelling on the texture of the ordinary and familial history to construct an archive of pain, anguish and hope, the novels are expected to challenge nostalgic accounts of the afterlife of the Bengal partition.
For the production of Bishar Blues, a film on the fakirs of Bengal, examining their music and their deeply spiritual everyday life as a living practice of radical syncretism. Bishar, the deviant branch of Islam practised largely by the lower castes, does not sacralise the Shariat, and its history in Bengal is replete with the assimilation of Buddhist, Tantric and Vaishnavite traditions and practices. In a context where Islam is increasingly under attack from different quarters, the film seeks to open up a crucial debate on secularism.
For the editing, designing and printing of Tamasha: Ek Rangadi Gamat, a book in Marathi on the Tamasha folk theatre form. The book––one of the outcomes of an IFA-supported documentation project––will contain about 250 photographs accompanied by text that describes the different forms of Tamasha prevalent in Maharashtra as well as the lifestyles of its performers.
For digital photography and annotation of 5,500 miniature paintings largely from the Jaina traditions of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The paintings, ranging from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century, form an eclectic and unique collection. to facilitate research on the materials. The project will improve scholarly access to the miniature paintings and facilitate preservation of the original materials.
For continuing the implementation of a dance-in-education programme in Bangalore. Movement classes will be conducted in schools and a cadre of dance teachers trained to facilitate the dance-in-education work. Funds will also be used to strengthen the institution’s capacity to sustain this programme through income from other sources.
For arts education groups and professionals in Southeast Asia and India to collaborate on workshops in built heritage, theatre, the visual arts and dance. Apart from facilitating creative exchange and mutual learning, these workshops are expected to help participants to build new methodologies and strengthen their practices in arts education.
For four art historians to identify, edit and annotate critical writing––in Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi respectively––on the visual arts in the first half of the twentieth century. The resulting selections will be published with the aim of reintroducing to a contemporary audience.