Project: HERE HEAR
BENGAL - In search of Roots:
[This is a project that we have been working on since 1992. The grass root folk dialects, style, form and arts as in songs, music, dance, artifacts are on the verge of getting completely lost. We have been recording such items and have a considerable stock already. We mainly have the audios recorded but intend to capture all the forms on video. Seeing & hearing will certainly have much greater impact. We would like to open it to the world in the form of a virtual museum. Scholars and allied subject specialists will get a chance to see, appreciate and learn of these vanishing dialects, songs and the allied cultural outputs. ]
The traditional folk songs, Folk dances, Folk instruments, Folk art and artifacts are vanishing at a rapid pace. The city is a big pull. Rural art forms that have survived through hundreds of years are now on the verge of death. Yet,there are thousands of folk tunes that are being used completely in Commercial ‘Bollywood’ films in a new avatar. These get the music directors many awards. But the original form and style remain in the dark or die a miserable death.
It will be a matter of shame if we fail to preserve for the future generation, the rich reservoir of folk forms that abound West Bengal. Because of publicity that ‘Bollywood’ songs get, the tunes reach the world. Hardly anyone cares to know the original.
In our quest to search for and preserve the heritage of the country, we have been collecting songs in their original forms since 1992.
We propose a Virtual Museum ( web based ) that will offer anyone interested a vast resource of Folk traditions. The virtual Museum will have distinct advantages over traditional museums for preservation and dissemination of information around the world.
Bengal is home to many living traditions including music, indigenous crafts, beliefs and skills. Much of this heritage has been passed down from generation to generation through 'shruti’ ( hearing )and ‘guru-shishya parampara’. However, many of the traditional art forms and practices (traditional music, dance, festivals and knowledge craft production, oral traditions and local languages and dialects) are fast disappearing or are being mutated into new forms. A standardized monoculture, fostered not only by socio-economic modernization but also by the progress of information and transport techniques, is fast replacing the vibrant cultural mosaic of Bengal. There is an urgent need to document and archive this vanishing heritage before it is lost forever. Digital documentation has become one of the most important means of preserving cultural expressions.
Aims and Objectives:
The proposed virtual museum will aim to:
- » Create a comprehensive digital database of Bengal’s intangible traditions, including visual documentation;
- » Explore the roots of these traditions and evaluate how they are being influenced by changes;
- » Suggest legal and administrative measures for its protections;
- » Provide a portal for exchange of ideas between experts, researchers and amateurs;
- » Promote participation by traditional artistes;
- » Invite institutions, non-governmental organizations, local communities and individuals to identify, contribute and safeguard their oral and intangible heritage;
- » Create awareness across culture about the intangible heritage of Bengal thus reinforcing the Bengali identity
1. Research and Reconnaissance for 62 identified endangered categories covering at least 620 items
2. Organize assemblage of Folk Singers & Dancers in areas that will offer them a relaxed, tension free opportunity to express and display their traditional forms
3. Record their performances on HD video
4. Post production
5. Creation of a Virtual Museum
PROJECT: FACT ( Find and collect treasure )
West Bengal in general and Kolkata in particular is the home of a rich heritage. There are still many treasures in the form of buildings, murals, lanes, even a lamp post that carry a tale worth listning.
We see them, but we don't care to look at them. Our project will be to unearth these hidden treasures, collect and preserve them in a digital form. We can use the platforms of TV, visual art and performing art to recreate the days that these artifacts represent.
What we have: We have a pool of resources, creative persons who will willingly take this task and deliver something worth giving to the futurte generation and the world.
What we don't have: We don't have money to carryout and translate our dream to reality.
PROJECT: NATURE CALLING
“3 years after RTE, 1.3L schools have no toilets”. Here is a Newspaper report:
“NEW DELHI: More than three years after the implementation of the RTE Act and an expenditure of over Rs 46,282.11 crore on school infrastructure, around 1.28 lakh out of 10,75,407 government elementary schools across the country still don't have toilets and over 61,000 lack drinking water facilities.”
According to the District Information System for Education 2011-12, there are No Toilets in 7,561 Girl’s school in West Bengal.
We want to organize Motor Rallies that will cover ‘No Toilet’ schools. At each of these schools, the cars will stop for a short predetermined time and the drivers will sign a pledge to build a toilet. At each of these schools, the sponsors will get a permanent mention in a board. Sponsors from abroad will also be approached to help build toilets – a natural demand that cannot be denied.