Project Bulletin #01
Project Bulletin is designed to give our readers a quick recap of our projects along with latest updates about them. As our projects and partnerships grow, we hope these updates give our readers a sense of continuity about our projects and ensure ongoing access to the material that continues to be generated.
The first among these is Fragrance of Peace: Preserving and sharing histories and memories of Northeast India, a joint initiative of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
The Northeast is often discussed in mainstream media in the context of security and conflict which belies its rich cultural and artistic diversity. This is similar to how the contested, postcolonial term ‘Northeast’ itself deemphasises the heterogeneity of the northeastern states. Fragrance of Peace or FoP has sought to broaden and nuance how the Northeastern states are understood and self-represented by building linkages among writers, researchers, and artists of the Northeast, through online as well as on-ground events, webinars, workshops, book launches, and conferences. The linkages that grew out of these interactions have spurred a rich discussion about themes of identity, disability and sexuality, representation, migration, among others. With a view to encourage and create diverse forms of knowledge creation, the project has funded young writers, researchers, and journalists who are supported monetarily as well as through mentorship by experts in the field.
Some of the material generated
FoP has consequently generated a rich output such as exhibitions like Through Her Lens that documents the photographic practices of gender and other minorities in the region as well as several anthologies by local women writers on fiction, non-fiction, translations, etc. The anthologies include Centrepiece: New Writing and Art from Northeast India (2017), Crafting the Word: Writings from Manipur (2019), The Many That I Am: Writings from Nagaland (2019) Inheritance of Words: Writings from Arunachal Pradesh, and, more recently, Homeward: Towards A Poetics of Space. Moreover, FoP’s commitment to support knowledge and cultural production in the region through the provision of small grants lead to published E-essays, photo essays and news articles on various themes. These essays can be found here and here.
Our readers are welcome to explore some of the online events and rich exchanges that FoP was privileged to host. Links to some of these can be found below. We hope these efforts create and preserve an archive of the region which will continue to be useful for researchers, artists, writers, and anyone invested in the region, for years to come.
Links to events
- Online book launch of The Many That I Am and Crafting the Word held by Zubaan and Assam-based feminist collective NEthing on 2 November 2020. Watch it here.
- Love:Ability—Breaking Barriers between Desire and Disability, was a webinar held by Zubaan and NEthing in December 2020 and moderated by disability rights leaders and activists from Assam. The webinar attempted to unpack how disability and desire are often separated by lines drawn by the patriarchy, which restricts desire based on gender, bodies, ethnicities and socio-economic hierarchies. The webinar features ISL interpretations and English translations––watch it here.
- Participatory Visual Learning Workshop: This participatory feedback-oriented workshop explored key ideas of learning in visual cultures, and opened the term ‘visual’ itself to include media such as photography, illustrations, graphics, audio-visual material etc. While the workshop was open only to selected applicants, their work can be viewed here.