The collaboration between Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF) and Asia Art Archive in India emerges from AAA’s ongoing engagement with histories of art writing, and its initiatives to map, compile, translate, and republish texts from various contexts. This grant is in line with SSAF’s commitment to work with cross-disciplinary initiatives addressing the oppressed and the marginalised, and alternative and heterodox practices in the arts and intellectual work.
The Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation was established in 2016 with the mandate to carry forward the legacy of scholar and photographer Umrao Singh Sher-Gil (1870–1954); his daughter and pioneer in modern Indian art, Amrita Sher-Gil (1913–41), and her nephew and niece Vivan Sundaram and Navina Sundaram.
SSAF seeks to enable conjunctions of artistic and cultural practice that deal with historical memory and build expectations for the future. It commits itself to advancing creative independence for art that is founded on freedom of expression, and that is secular and internationalist.
The Research Grantees
C. Yamini Krishna
‘Sabras’—A Glimpse into the Deccani Renaissance
C. Yamini Krishna’s project, proposes to research and document the Urdu magazine Sabras, founded in 1938 by the linguist, historian, and littérateur Syed Mohiuddin Qadri Zore in Hyderabad, India. Krishna aims to digitise the entire collection of Sabras and curate an annotated collection of discussions, essays, and art and illustrations of Dakhaniyat from Sabras, and to host these on a digital interface. Her research will also unearth the role of the Idara-e-Adabiyat-e-Urdu and its contributions to the political and intellectual history of the Deccan.
Haneena P. A. & Jazeela Basheer
Haneena P. A. & Jazeela Basheer’s project aims to research and document four women’s magazines from Kerala written in Arabi Malayalam and Malayalam. In the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, print was recognised as a powerful tool by the Mappila Muslims in northern Kerala to propagate socio-religious reforms, including modern education, within their community. The project intends to generate a visual digital archive consisting of the digitised issues of the magazines, a selection of women’s narratives translated into English, and interviews conducted as part of the research.
Constructing an Alternative Gujarati Cultural Identity: The Case of Re Revolution Little Magazines
Desai's project proposes to research and document the poetics of dissent as expressed through four literary little magazines in Gujarati under the banner of Re Math (or Re Revolution). Published by poet Chinu Modi and others between the 1960s and 1970s, the four magazines under consideration are Re (1961–62), Kruti (1966–72), Unmoolan (1967–68), and Omeesium (1974–76).
Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar
Shridhar’s project proposes to research and document the intersection between the little magazine movement (1960s–70s) in Maharashtra, and the Dalit Panther movement (1970s–80s) in the same region. This research stems from Shridhar’s work with the Dalit Panther Archive, an independent collective she co-founded in 2016, to document the vibrant history, politics, art, and literature of the Ambedkarite movement in Maharashtra in the 1970s, with a specific focus on the Dalit Panthers.
Duggal’s project proposes to study communist, in particular Naxalite, periodicals from the late 1960s until the movement’s aftermath in the mid-1990s in Punjab. With a focus on the intersection of politics and aesthetics, the magazines this research examines include Rohley Baan (Raging Arrows), Siar (Furrow), and Surkh Rekha (Red Line), all of which featured visuals across several idioms, both on their covers and within their pages.