Applications open for second edition of Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship

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New Delhi, April 30: Sahapedia.org today announced the second edition of its Fellowship programme with UNESCO for cultural research and documentation. This follows the successful completion of the inaugural 2017 edition which generated scores of detailed audio-visual records of fascinating and often little-known aspects of Indian art, culture, tradition and heritage.

The first edition of the Fellowship came to a close on Saturday (28 April) with a convocation ceremony. Awardees who were granted the Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship in 2017 received their certificates from Mr. S. Ramadorai, President, Sahapedia on the grounds of Sanskriti Museums in New Delhi.

Sahapedia.org, an open online encyclopaedic resource on Indian arts, has begun featuring the content, and contributions of this edition shall be published in entirety by May 2018.

“One reason we launched the Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship was to encourage the practice of mentorship and relationships between those in the field and those in the academy. The stronger the connections between experts, both practitioners and researchers, the greater our chances for successfully nurturing our cultural diversity and for its impacting other development goals,” Mr. Ramadorai said.

“All of us who are interested in any aspect of India’s arts and knowledge systems need to work together toward an ecosystem that strengthens the diverse and inclusive cultural foundation, which has sustained and moulded us as a country,” he added.

The research projects undertaken during the first edition reflect the geographical and cultural diversity of India — ranging from kolam-s (the ancient floor art that is still ubiquitous in homes across Tamil Nadu), Nirgun songs in the Bhojpuri language and Bengali Qawwali and traditional Muslim wedding songs from West Bengal to the marriage rituals in the Rong-Chu-gyud region of Ladakh and Ottoman Hammams in use during Mughal era.

Little-known traditions of the North East, including Folk Musical Instruments of the Poumai tribes, the Myths and Legends of the Angami Nagas and the Ka Poong Tai dance-drama of Tai Khamtis of Arunachal Pradesh have been recorded for posterity. Indian miniature art of the 17th-18th centuries from the collection of the Dresden State Museum in Germany was the subject for one award grantee.

The Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowships for 2018 are being supported by the Ministry of Culture, through their scheme for Financial Assistance to Cultural Organizations with National Presence.

In the second edition of the Fellowships, Sahapedia has outlined a set of focus areas that will be given preference in the selection process. Details are available here: https://www.sahapedia.org/sahapedia-unesco-fellowships-2018

The Fellowships include a grant of Rs 40,000 each. Post-doctoral scholars, doctoral candidates, post-graduates, and graduates (including those students due to graduate in the summer of 2018) may apply.

The last date for applications is 15th June, 2018. Selected applicants are expected to begin their projects by August 2018 and complete it in six months.

“The Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship is one process by which we support research on the diverse fields of arts and cultures of India, on both the well-known and the comparatively lesser known forms and expressions. It encourages both young scholars and field practitioners alike to engage with their areas of interest,” said Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Sahapedia.

“Through this Fellowship, we want to support individuals with their work on communities and practices that often do not get the attention they deserve and bring them to the notice of a wider public,” she added.