2022 marks the conclusion of the AHRC-funded pilot project Two Centuries of Indian Print (2CIP) and the 75th anniversary of Indian independence, as well as other important national events across South Asia. We propose to showcase 2CIP's cataloguing, digitisation and research outputs and celebrate India's print, film and literary history with a dedicated events programme that aims to maximise the impact of such programmes and demonstrate their role in documenting collections and making them available, as well as engaging with new users and diversifying British Library audiences. 2CIP was largely focused on East India and East Indian languages such as Bengali, Assamese and Sylheti. As a result, 2CIP events, such as the October 2021 Bangladesh 50 at the British Library, were often oriented towards British Bangladeshi visitors. Through arranging events aimed at multiple British South Asian communities, the proposed India 75 Events project will be able to sustain existing relationships with the British Bangladeshi community as well as form new connections with other British Asian communities. Therefore, this project's programme of events will have a wide appeal to both general and academic audiences, as well as multiple British South Asian communities through celebrating the region's diversity of languages and cultures. Proposed events include Community Show and Tells, Workshops, Seminars and Film Screenings for interested audiences in the UK and India. These events would also contribute to laying the foundation for wider plans being developed that seek to broaden the regional and linguistic focus of future South Asian collections conservation, digitisation and research projects. The impact of this programme of events will benefit British Asian community groups and non-academic audiences who will become more familiar with the Library's South Asia holdings and feel more confident accessing the collection items for their own interest and research, for example, research into their particular cultural and regional heritage. The Library in turn will foster stronger relationships by proactively engaging with South Asian communities both in London and beyond.
Partners: Re Orient Sweden, Clandestino Festival, FU, University of Copenhague, Migrant Media, GOLDSMITHS', Jadavpur University
This project engages with creative practices across a number of borders, in geographical, conceptual, disciplinary and genre terms. We are interested in addressing questions of media change, social mobility and creative collaboration (eg. at international art festivals and biennales), paying particular attention to border-crossings and transcultural engagement (joint work, media linkings, transfers, recontextualisations). We pursue this insofar as border crossings in several senses have creative, economic and social implications for new visual, aural and dynamic cultural debates. Conceptually, we are interested in performitivity, transgression, affect, aesthetics, inclusion/exclusion, precarious lifestyles, labour, the economics and materials of creative practice, adventure, dissonance, inspiration. We will develop this through a network of research scholars and through laboratory work that draws on collaborative cross border affiliations among what we will call a multitude of creative vernacular cosmopolitanisms.\n\nWe want to put researchers with Border experience (Europe, Berlin, India, Bengal) into active movement around our theme, so this project takes up questions of creative and cultural practice that are aural, visual and performative in a primary and structuring way. Starting from a critique of linearity and the hegemony of text, this initiative occurs in the context of challenges and changes impacting the creativity of the Arts, as part of the movement-oriented conception of a creative cosmopolitanism that is insurgent world-wide today. We suggest that creative practices thought of as movement provoke a radical challenge to the traditional boundaries between, and conceptualisation of, previously more stable textual formations in academic frameworks, genres, forms, and media. What is great about this idea is that we see communication as a space that is a dynamic contact zone, a place of transformation, of transgression and innovation. In painting, photography, performance, radio, cinema, video and design, new dynamics and ideas offering seemingly dangerous cross-border innovations promise to forge a new scholarship of movement, creativity and excitement. The border crossing innovations established in this contact zone offer much that is worthy of examination and development. \n\nThe project assumes that the contemporary conjuncture is framed by / and stands out as a reaction to / domestic initiatives in contemporary cultural resource management conceived as business. The dialectical syncopation here reacts critically to old school commercialization and industry writ large. Opportunities abound, entrepreneurs swoop; but they do so in ways that perhaps also need to be rethought in the radical terminology of flow and mobility that escapes the rule and text books of convention. The context for this includes the discursive formation of multiple globalisations, cultural encounters and interaction of tension and conflict, dialogic engagements between those whose practices stem from different cultural spheres and political orientations. All this needs to be rethought. A second tendency running against the commercial script is the development of new media and patterns of cultural agency that transform expectations today / diasporic media and cross border initiatives (radio, piracy, biennales, international aspects of Documenta etc) are rapidly forging new and exciting kinds of creative collaboration. Contemporary creativity may, in this situation, conspicuously adopt and appropriate the technologies and forms of commercial broadcast for surprising and subversive ends. The third tendency is the new convergence between culture and commodities. The productivity of hybrid, mixed, fusion forms of creativity offers irony, play, critique and inspiration as resources to commerce (this can of course be questioned) and the idea that there is only one 'mass' form of commodification or 'culture industry' is passing, outmoded or obsolete.