At the start of next year I will go on a research trip to to India. I will carry out research into the history and cultural context of shadow puppetry and crafts in a number of places in India.
This will include spending 3 weeks with puppeteer Ramachandra Pulvar in Kerala. Pulvar is from a lineage of shadow puppeteers, he is a leader in the craft in the region, and he is internationally known for his art. He creates shadow puppets in the Tholpava Koothu tradition (using materials such as deer skins, natural dye from the Kasav tree) and he performs using scripts which have been written on palm leaves. Kerala is one of very few regions in India where shadow puppetry continues to function as a cultural (and religious) event. Indian shadow puppetry has a long heritage and shadow puppetry and is an ancient artform in Kerala.
I’ll also spend some time meeting the the lovely people from the Indian puppetry scene -puppetry festival producers and directors, and get to see some great work I hope!
The trip is supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund (a new stream of funding form the Arts Council which supports artists’ travel), the Artists Travel Bursary from the Puppet Centre Trust, and Sound Travels (and indian arts travel organization).
I am currently booking trains, planes and automobiles. Getting jabs, nets and sandals. Reading guides, texts, and useful-website-information. I’ll post on this site whilst I am out there, so please keep checking back.