IRAVATI MEMORIAL SEMINAR GRANTS 2019

Introduction

The Iravati Memorial Grants are organised and donated every year by the Northeast India Company (from 2016) to departments of literature and history belonging to government or autonomous colleges and/or universities/ research centres in aid of national/ international seminars (or similar) being organised by them.

Application Procedure

A concise proposal stating the purpose for which the application is being made must be submitted latest by November 15th this year. Only this needs to be submitted alongside some routine identification documents. The remnant of formalities will be communicated post- screening and possible selection.

Documents List

1. Departmental profile (concise).

2. Institutional affiliation and governmental credentials.

3. Proposal along with pertinent concept note.

4. Other sponsors (if any).

5. Convening faculty profile.

Communication

choudhuri.arjun@gmail.com (Dr. A. Chaudhuri, Curator)

aaarsilchar@gmail.com (Offices of NEIC)

NEIC’s collaboration with ERA AMADER. 

We have previously announced our research project titled BarAknAmA: A Visual Biography of Barak Valley a couple of posts back, if you will remember. While a development meeting was on at the Studio for the project, we came up with an idea that would not be charitable, but quite socially responsible.

ERA AMADER, an institute for children with multiple disabilities, was introduced to us by Prof. Vandana Thousen, a friend and an eminent teacher of the town. We made a visit to the institute a week or two back and found that there was a lot NEIC could do in order to aid the simply astounding work that they are engaged in doing.

So we proposed a collaboration of which details will be available in the video that we are sharing here, below this tract. And gladly enough for us, the authorities at ERA AMADER, with no little aid from Prof. Thousen, agreed to the idea that we had formulated.

The fundamental idea behind the collaboration is to make ERA AMADER more visible to the people of Northeast India and even outside our corner of the world. A secondary motive was to encourage the sales quotient of the exhibitions and production resultant from Camera Barak so that fifty percent of all proceeds could be gifted to ERA AMADER for the development it dearly is in need of.

Please treat this as a call for cooperation and participation. Do watch the video. Share with friends or those who would be interested. Think about the whole matter. Children with multiple disabilities exist all around us. On the fringes of this society that, so very ostentatiously, thinks of them as a necessary liability. Why not see them for what they exactly are? Our inherent responsibility.

Click to watch the ad film on ERA AMADER here.

UNISHEY MAY: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. 

An announcement that may prove to be very interesting to many people related to in some way or the other to Barak Valley’s cultural spaces – Mr. Saptharshi Bhattacharjee of the Department of Visual Arts, Assam University, Silchar has recently started a visual biography project on the Language Martyrs of Barak Valley. And it makes us very proud and happy to report that he is progressing very fast on that front. We are sincerely hoping his book “Unishey May: A Photobiography” will be ready for publication along with Mr. Jhalak Das’ book on Shonbeel.

What is so striking about fifteen dead men and women who were shot down in cold blood at different times by the usually manipulative, then aggressively confrontational Congress state government of Assam?

Nothing much, apparently. But for anyone who has ever beheld the public adulation directed towards sundry commemorative altars called “Shaheed Bedi” anywhere in Barak Valley on the three days of May between the 17th and the 20th, it will be easy to imagine what exactly is the song that these thousands of hearts, conscious in their Bengaliness sing on the day of the 19th of May every year. It’s this evasive definition of a song and its romance with the forcing heart that is at the core of the sentiment, call it that if you will, that is Unishey May or the 19th of May.

This year, a colleague commented, and on the 19th itself, that the true date of observance of the martyrdoms in question should be 4th Jyesthha, according to the “Bengali” calendar. I did not reply, or comment, of course, the introverted geek that I am. But does it matter anyway? Is not the rituality and the annual rememoration of an tragedy important enough? Does it have to be something politically correct in order to manifest its mnemonic potential?

One thing that memory, or material memory, or embodied memory cannot be used to justify is the spatial duality that most public celebrations in India or similar countries with a colonial past are essentially supported by and support. It is therefore important to be able to look, observe and connect to the diversity of the images of these public commemorative actions.

And Mr. Bhattacharjee in the mentioned book has tried to do exactly that. He has ventured the narrative of a commemorative ritual and not a historical incident. For histories are meant to be ruptured, a la mode de Koselleck, and challenged and subsumed by thought and evidence and deduction. But the memory of a place, a time in a place, a place in an era and an era gone away but living on in the contemporary, all in all the cultural memory of anything cannot be ruptured. Simply because it has no linearity to lay claim to. But also because of the fact that memory, by dint of its pervasiveness, leaves no nook untouched. Where history will or may reject, memory is like the ball of mercury that gathers and grows as it goes.

We are all looking forward to Mr. Bhattacharjee’s book, and we wish him all the best for all his future projects.

Here’s a screenshot from from the mentioned book’s preliminary layout.

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