Community Archiving Hampi-Anegundi 2021
Through the proposal titled, Digitising Indigenous Narratives at Futura Tropica Fellowship , the intention of this project has been to create and recreate the lived experiences of the indigenous and local communities from Hampi-Anegundi region. A series of mixed media outputs have been curated about the transforming living situations of the communities like agriculturalists, vendors, construction makers, tourism supporters, folk art performers, Banjaras, and others in and around the landscapes of this historic town. Archival material collected over the last few years has been reinterpreted and represented in more accessible and integrated forms.
Earlier in 2017, a transdisciplinary group of postgraduate students had visited and researched on the conditions of heritage preservation in Hampi-Anengudi as a part of an open studio, Contesting Heritage, hosted at the Srishti Postgraduate Interlude. The students had collected a variety of voices and opinions from local authorities to community members, researchers and tourists. At the culminating conference each team made their own case about the situations on-ground findings via creative forms like films, postcards, interactive installations and others.
Simultaneously, we had also proposed to create a community-led archive in Hampi-Anegundi in 2017 in collaboration with The Kishkinda Trust. The intention was to enhance participation and ownership of the local community members in preserving and promoting their local historical and cultural narratives. This exercise was supported by two rounds of internships at TKT across 2018-19 as well as with some engagement from community members in order to arrive at an information architecture and physical setup for the archive.
In continuation of this initiative, we had also conducted a fifteen-day long workshop in 2019 on ethnographic studies and narrative building exercises for postgraduate students from Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology. Through this workshop we have recorded more than 80 hours of video and audio material which tells stories about the cultural systems of these communities, the impact of heritage assessment on their everyday lives and emphasises on the lesser-known knowledge systems from the region. A very primary attempt was made to edit this content, develop critical narratives and create an open-source archive (in the form of a blog) for local and larger audiences.
We wonder today, how those families must have survived the pandemic? Perhaps they might have been more resilient given their sustainable ways of living off the earth. How could we go back to them with their own memories? This proposal intends to create an artistic output which uses memory to revive lost connections and tools for community archiving to further the local history of Hampi-Anegundi. Original plan was that a group of practitioners will work on the curation and visualisation of the content from Bengaluru, one of the researchers would coordinate with the communities in Hampi / visit them and re-record their lived experiences to be juxtaposed into the final narrative. In the current situation, this has not been possible but we hope to go back to site soon…
It's work-in-progress, amidst the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India!
Support from: Eyebeam
Researchers & Interns: Aarthi Varsghese, Ananta Dutta, Ananthan Suresh, Anushri Ghode, Apoorva Shetty, Bianca Fernandes, David Verghese, Deepshikha Sharma, Indira Prasad, Koumudi Malladi, Malini Sasidharan, Manan Goyal, Megha Jain, Navin Kushwah, Nikita Teresa, Prachi Seksaria, Priyanka Saha, Ritika Bij, Sreya Majumdar, Swathi Kumar, Vivek Majumdar