[Reader-list] [Announcements] [Sarai Newsletter] Sarai/CSDS Independent Fellowship

dak at sarai.net dak at sarai.net
Mon Dec 2 22:44:36 IST 2002

Sarai/CSDS Independent Fellowship  (December 2002-May 2003)

We are happy to announce the list of  Sarai/CSDS Short Term 
Independent Fellowships for the year 2002-03.  
We received more than one hundred and fifty proposals in English and 
Hindi from all over India, in response to the call for proposals that 
went out in September 2002. We were delighted by the number of high 
quality proposals that came in response to our advertisement. Sixty 
seven proposals were shortlisted and thirty six proposals were finally 
selected for support. 
Given the large number of  good proposals and our desire to encourage 
younger scholars and practitioners we have decided to maximize the 
awardees by distributing the total grant outlay amongst a larger 
number of candidates. This has resulted in the awarding of some 
partial grants, which we hope will encourage an interesting and 
diverse body of research and practice. 
We congratulate all the awardees and thank all those who responded so 
enthusiastically to the call for proposals. 
The awardees (in alphabetical order) are  - 

1) Abhay Dube (Hindi)
'Naya' Shahar/Nayi Sexuality ('New' City/ New Sexuality)
To focus on sexual assertitions in city/towns in the face of moral and 
organisational opposition. Print publications, video parlours and 
their subscribers as well as love spots in the city will form the 
basis of the study. It will also interrogate sex as commodity and how 
it has acquired a middle class respectability, and critique, in the 
form of court cases, organisational oppositions, etc.  

2) A.R.Basu
Mediation of a Marginal Science in a Colonial City: Reading Psychiatry 
in Colonial Bengali Periodicals  
To look at how psychiatry and categories such as insanity were 
deployed in Bengali periodicals, both popular and scientific, in the 
late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

3) Arvind Narrain, C.S. Balachandran and Vinay Chandran 
Outing Bangalore : Intesections of Geographies, Law and Sexualites
To embrace an ethnography of what it is to be homosexual in urban 
space, reflect on online homosexual spaces, construct everyday 
psycho-geographies of being gay and also look at the legal regimes and 
repressions that mark out the everyday experience of homosexuals in 
city spaces, specifically Bangalore.

4) Avinash Kumar (Hindi)
Des-Pardes ka Dvand aur Dilli (The Dilemma of the Insider/Outsider and 
To explore the writerly dilemma of belonging and alienation in a city 
of migrants, a city where the Hindi/Urdu dichotomy has greatly 
affected the writer. An entire range of  poetry and fiction will be 
looked at along with interviews conducted with all surviving writers 
to explore how their work reflects the everyday contradiction of 
living in a city they do not love.

5) Ayisha Abraham
Deteriorating Memories: Blurring Fact and Fiction in Home Movies in 
Research, combined with work towards a media art project based on 8mm 
Home Movies in Bangalore.
This project combines old and new media in very interesting ways. She 
has been collecting and researching the little known area of the 
domestic usage of 8mm, super 8 mm and 16 mm celluloid film, and has 
found remarkable collections, including those made by middle class 
housewives, a post office worker and other people who worked with 
these film formats  as a hobby. 

She intends to work further with these materials, recycling them in a 
digital format and presenting them for an installation, or a series of 
installations, in spaces that are not mainstream art venues. She also 
intends to research and experiment with appropriate technological and 
aesthetic forms towards the public rendition of this material.

6) Bharti Chaturvedi
The City of Bins : Narratives from the informal waste recycling sector 
in Delhi
To work with personal narratives of people who work in the waste 
recycling sector in Delhi. This will work towards a wall newspaper 
with, and for, the waste recycling workers.

7) Bharti Kher
Love -an absence of assignable cause: Research towards the realization 
of a media based art project 
To interrogate the delicate politics of status, gender and caste that 
lie at the heart of the three-line matrimonial ad. She will be 
researching into the appropriate digital interface with which to 
realize this project which will ultimately take the form of a video 
and sound installation.

8) Frederick Noronha
GNU/Linux in India: Research and Reportage on the Free Software/Open 
Source Movement in India.
Continuing last year's efforts at networking all the Linux Users 
Groups (LUGs) and other campaign groups across South Asia, Noronha 
also hopes to focus the research on Indic Computing and complete a 
book on FLOSS.  

9) Gayatri Chatterjee
Researching the Mehboob Papers
To research a previously unexplored body of archival material, 
preserved in fourteen steel cupboards at the Mehboob studios in 
Mumbai. This will help to throw light on the story of the early years 
of Hindi cinema including foreign distribution, government decisions 
and policies regarding foreign quota, ways of amassing finance from 
various official and unofficial sources and the various situations 
filmmakers in India faced in the decades after independence. The 
papers will also allow for the 
tracing of the history of a great studio.

10) Hari Roka
The Condition of Nepali Migrants in Delhi
To work out a detailed ethnography of Nepali migrant workers in Delhi. 
It seeks to examine their everyday lives, their social networks and 
cultural practices in the city, the kind of films they see, their 
forms of political involvement (especially against the context of the 
insurgency in Nepal) and the way they see Delhi and other people in Delhi.

11) Khadeeja Arif and Ambareen Al Qadar
Lives of Women in Zakir Nagar, Delhi.
To interrogate issues of clothing, gestures, habitation, 
entertainment, physical movement and the very texture of the daily 
lived experiences of the women as something that is intrinsically 
linked to the peculiar formation of Zakir Nagar, Okhla, Delhi.”

12) Kundan Kaushav
Upanyason Ka Shahar: The World of Hindi Popular Fictions, its Economy 
& its Images
To examine the world of pulp literature in Hindi, especially centred 
around Meerut and Delhi, as sites of production. It wants to look at 
the network which is created around the production and distribution of 
the 'pulp novel' - small printing set ups and stalls on footpaths and 
railway stations, as well as examine the world views of both readers 
and writers through interviews, and collections of fan material. 

13) Kurnal Rawat and Vishal Rawlley
Typocity: Documentation and Interpretation of the Typographic forms in 
Public Signage in Mumbai
To do a documentation and analysis of interesting and rare instances 
of typography throughout the city of Bombay from the point of view of 
graphic design, production techniques and social significance 
including painted film posters, hand painted restaurant menu boards, 
hand crafted shop signs and calligraphic taxi number plates. 

14) Manju Singh (Hindi)
Pregnancy Wards se kahaniya (Narratives from Pregnancy Wards in Delhi)
To collect and illustrate narratives of pregnant women, their visitors 
and the workers in public and private hospitals in Delhi.

15) Meenu Gaur
Camp People : The Refugees From Kashmir in Delhi
To look at the way in which Kashmiri refugees have become part of the 
rhetorical arsenal of the Hindu right, even as their very real human 
needs and deprivations are completely neglected, and the violence that 
they have suffered is not addressed in any real sense. This project 
will be a documentation of the everyday lives, struggles and 
experiences of these refugees through recorded testimonies and 
photographs. It will also be an interrogation of the ambivalent and 
multiple meanings that the word 'home' conjures in the context of camp 
life, and the memories that the refugees have of the 'home' that they 
have left behind. 

16) Nandini Chandra
The Child's Experience of the City in Hindi Cinema
To interrogate the narrative of the child in the city in Hindi Cinema, 
which is used as narrative justification for much that goes on in the 
course of a film. Interviews with famous child artists of the fifties 
and sixties, especially Daisy Irani and Master Raju, will help explore 
the performative trope of 'cuteness' that was mastered by them,  and 
how they saw their own status as glorified child workers within the 
ambience of a bourgeoise cuteness that they had to affect. An 
interesting list of 33 films will form the basis of this study. 

17) Narender Thakur
Chowk : Study of the Daily Labour Market (Labour Chowk) in Delhi
To document the world of the daily wage worker who sells, or attempts, 
to sell his labour in three sites of daily labour markets in North, 
East and South Delhi. A questionnaire, which encompasses a range of 
areas from communication networks within daily wage workers, to 
expenditure decisions, links with the village and many other specific 
inquiries, has been devised for detailed interviews. 

18) Naresh Goswami (Hindi)
Yamuna Paar ke Saptahik Bazaar: Paridhi par jeevan 
(The Weekly Markets of Trans-Yamuna: Life in the margins)
To take a close look at the weekly haats (markets) that are held in 
different parts of the Trans-Yamuna area of Delhi on a particular day 
of the week. The network that is involved in the creation and 
dismantling of these  markets will be explored through a mix of text, 
sound, image and video by interacting with vendors, buyers and all 
those who involved. 

19) Naunidhi Kaur
Examination of everyday life in localities in Mumbai that were hit by 
the 1992-93 riots
To explore how people in these locations view solidarity as well as 
tensions of everyday existence in the family and neighbourhood 
contexts, the cycles of festivals and ceremonies in public spaces and 
the routines, stratagems and factional battles deployed in mass politics.”

20) Navaneetha and Shefali
The Space Between: Women's Hostels as Urban Spaces
This study of women's hostels in Hyderabad wants to see the city 
through the eyes of young women, students and professionals who live 
in hostels, and also see how they reclaim the hostel as a common 

21) Naveen Chander (Hindi)
Suniyojit Visthapan - Aniyojit Punarvas: Kaamgaron ka shahari mukam ke 
liye jaddyojahad 
(Planned Displacement - Unplanned Rehabilitation :  Struggles of 
Working People for Habitation in Delhi)
Continuation of last year's research project interrogating the 
displacements and proposed rehabilitation of Metro workers in Delhi. 
The project interrogates issues of public space, urbanisation, the 
process of modernisation as effected by the Delhi Metro Project and 
the dynamics of labour behaviour. 

22) Navin Thomas
Street Musicians in Mumbai
To document the lives and music of itinerant street musicians in 
Mumbai, and focus at the way in which they respond to the music 
generated by the Hindi film industry. This will involve creating a 
photographic profile of the spaces in which they perform together with 
visual and audio portraits of them through still photos and sound 

23) Prabhas Ranjan (with Sadan Jha)
Sheher Ke Nishan II
This proposal is for the renewal of Sheher Ke Nishan. This time, it 
aims to concentrate on the 'production' of signs, through interviews 
with sign painters, sticker designers, and also to observe the economy 
of the circulation of signs. It will also be a continuation of the 
process of observing found signs, now concentrating on sites like 
trains and public toilets.

24) Rahaab Allana
Of Urban Localities & Bazaar(s) Photography 
To investigate the practice, form and  experience of photography 
within Delhi Bazaars. This will help to build a  serious body of work 
examples of Bazaar Photography including interviews with 

25) Raheema B & Namita
Shivaji Nagar Signs
To develop a series of strategies for public interventions in 
Bangalore as a response to the communalization and parceling out of  
public space, using storytelling, street installations, bioscopes, 
sound recordings, graffiti, stickers and photography. 

26) Rajaram Bhadu (Hindi)
Jaipur ki Kacchi Bastiyon ka Sanskritik Adhayan (A Cultural Study of 
Slums in Jaipur)
To study the process of cultural transition in mixed communities of 
Jaipur slums  through memories and identities. It wants to go beyond 
established parameters, by looking at cultural changes and lifestyles 
of  predominantly dalit bastis.

27) Rajivan S.A
Subsequent Hearing: A project using sounds from the urban landscape 
The Project aims to record a set of sound events from the city space 
and recompose these events through interplay between the sound  
recording and subsequent  hearing. The idea is to make the subsequent 
hearing of the recording into a fictional space that allows an 
indirect, and layered experience. This will thus create a soundscape 
of a city by recording sound events through different media to give a 
sense of a dispersed spatial dynamic. 

28) Ravi Aggarwal and Anita Soni
Jan Dedenge, Ghar Nahin: Photographic documentation of the movement 
against eviction by communities in the Bhatti Mines area of Delhi
To focus on the Oudh and Kumhar communities settled in the Asola 
Bhatti Mines region of south-east Delhi, which is slated to become the 
Asola Sanctuary and Reserve Forest. The body of photographic materials 
will form an archive, and will be presented in court as evidence that 
the communities are not encroachers who must be evicted for 
environmental reasons in the course of a Public Interest Litigation. 

29) Rumman Hameed
Old Delhi - An Exploration of Connected Spaces
To map the unique forms of communication and interaction that occur in 
old Delhi between the vertical levels of the different floors and of 
built forms, and the horizontal levels, between gallis and across 

30) Sayantoni Datta 
Amorphous - Kaleidoscope Images: Discovering lesbian sexualities in 
the media in India
To look at the representation of women in popular culture, films, 
tele-films, soaps and internet spaces through a Lesbian sensibility, 
in order to claim a representative and interpretative agency for young 
lesbians in India.

31) Shahid Datawalla
Photographic Documentation of Cinema Halls and Cinema Going 
Subcultures in Delhi
To build a collection of photographic records and interpretations of 
the exterior and interior ambiences of cinema halls in Delhi including 
those that are closed, abandoned or transformed into markets or 

32) Sharmila Rege
Speaking From the Margins and Across Cultures: Documenting and 
translating the narratives of Dalit and Black Women
To translate key documents and texts of the Black Feminist movement in 
the United States into Marathi, and to translate key Marathi texts of 
Dalit Feminism into English.

33) Sougata Bhattacharya
A History of the Aurora Film Corporation, Calcutta (1908 - 2002)
To write a detailed history of one of the longest surviving film 
distribution, exhibition and production equipment hiring companies in 
the Bengali film industry, to detail the industrial and business 
history of the company, especially its decision to diversify into 
distribution, and not be caught in the trap of the star system. It 
will examine the company's correspondence, its production, its major 
films and all other associated activities in order to draw out what 
is, without doubt, a major episode in the history of cinema in 

34) Souvik Mukherjee and Riddhi Shankar Ray 
Reading Books with Joysticks: Computer games and the history of 
To examine the sub-culture around gaming and the playing of various 
kinds of first person computer games as a variant of reading and 

35) Subhajit Chatterjee
Romancing the Post Colonial City: Problematic of the desire to 'Settle 
Down'’ in urban Bengal
To explore cinematic representations of public spaces in the city as 
the sites of romantic encounters in popular Bengali cinema and 
investigate the relationship with similar real-life encounters. 

36) Vishwajyoti Ghosh
Once Upon a Time...' - Migration, Memories & Personal Mappings
A mixed media Graphic Novel in black & white combining family memoirs 
and  history about the resettlement of post partition refugees from 
East Pakistan in CR Park in Delhi.

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