April 2009


Table of Contents

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Give to NFSC

You can donate online to strengthen the National Folklore Support Centre.

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Events Calendar

NFSC and Tamilnadu Thiraippada Iyakkam jointly present the films: Silk ‘Silk’ (Fran’ois Girard/ Canada/ 108 mins) on Wednesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. Katyn ‘Katyn’ (Andrzej Wajda/ Poland/ 2007) on Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m.

NFSC presents the film ‘The Paharias’, directed by Sangeeta Datta, on the life of the endangered Paharia tribes of Jharkhand on Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m.

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NFSC Portal for Journals

A new issue of Folklore and Folkloristics is now up on our portal for journals.

SilkFull archives of the Indian Folklore Research Journal are available on the portal.

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Online Learning

You can find a link to courses on semiotics on our online learning site.

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In our Archives

An archival collection of Kudiyattam in German and Sanskrit is available on our online learning site at this link.

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Volunteer at NFSC

We invite volunteers who can contribute online or at the Centre. Online volunteers can help with our website and wiki as contributors or editors. Volunteering at the Centre would involve helping organise programmes or workshops in colleges, schools or corporate houses. Those interested in volunteering can register online here or send in profile, bio-data, letter of interest, areas of work and experience and commitment of time to the address provided below.

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Saora Folk Art for the Encyclopaedia Indica Kids: Culture and Ecology

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April 2009 Newsletter

Folklore and the Network

Dear Friends,

Tweet! Twitter birdSuddenly all the world’s a-twitter.” This new phenonmenon involves telling the world what you’re doing in 140 characters or less. It has been variously described it as micro-blogging, mindless pasttime, celebration of banality and exaltation of network. NFSC has been on Twitter for about a month now and we are entirely excited by the possibilities it offers. In this newsletter, I’ll take you through all the news that’s fit to print and tell you about our experience with social media along the way. Wikis – made famous by Wikipediablogs, social networking sites – like Orkut or Facebook – and YouTube are among the examples of social media or Web 2.0 that are transforming the internet by allowing users to create content. This dovetails with NFSC’s aim to integrate dissemination of information with multi-disciplinary dialogues and digital technology with applications to voice the cultures of the marginalised and historically disadvantaged communities. We believe our wiki and open access journals, our digital community archives are means to these ends. Twitter birdThrough an account on Twitter we are forming connections across the globe. We have discovered open anthropology projects at www.anthropology-projects.co.uk and www.openanthropology.org through it. This is what is exciting about Twitter/social media in general and about the work we do – both celebrate the philosophy of the commons and are all about the linkages between the common people.

In this connection, we are glad to announce the first large-scale programmes for exhibiting documentation made for the Digital Community Archives to the communities and others. In Kerala, our collaborator Vayali Folk Group organised a workshop on folk art forms and conducted a film screening afterwards. The documentary made by NFSC fieldwork staff Rayson K. Alex and S. Rajasekar is titled ‘Nila Paranjathu’ or ‘What Nila Said’ and traces a journey along the river banks from the source to the point at which reaches the sea. They report that participants expressed wonder over the number of art forms that could be found along the river and shock that the river was endangered by sand mining. PoothanOur fieldwork staff on location, Sujil Kumar, is learning to use the wiki and has uploaded photographs of various rituals that can be seen along the banks of the River Nila. Wikis are meant for collaborative content creation, and enable our collaborators in other states to add content to our pages on the Digital Community Archives. In Madhya Pradesh, our collaborator Jatan Trust organised an exhibition of documentation in Bhopal titled ‘Museum of Memory’. Documentary on the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh NFSC fieldworkers K. Muthukumar and S. Aruvi have made a film titled ‘Naul, Dau ani Sena Baban’ (Me, My father, and My Grandfather) about the Gond community in the state. Fieldworker Arun Bose has made a film titled ‘Not a drop of rain: Drought and lore in Kalahandi and Naupada’, compiling conversation with Mahendra Kumar Mishra and documentation done in the field about the drought and lore of the Kalahandi and Naupada districts in Orissa. You can follow the links from www.wiki.indianfolklore.org for regular updates on the archives.

As part of our pioneering project to collate the ways in which environment produces and is produced by culture, we are in the process of collecting and animating 300 folk tales and narratives. You can view a sample here. While looking at other resources available online for children, we came across this fascinating site for deaf and hearing children. The animated stories are accompanied by a video of a person narrating the story in British Sign Language while the text scrolls beneath. This technique of same-language sub-titling has been proven to improve literacy and is a technique we will be employing in our Encyclopaedia as well.

Our Director M.D. Muthukumaraswamy visited Seraikella for the Tribal Dances Festival organised by the Western Zone Cultural Centre. You can see photographs here. Do visit us at http://twitter.com/indianfolklore

- Malarvizhi. J Programme Officer (Publications and Communication) NFSC

National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, registered in Chennai, dedicated to the promotion of Indian folklore research, education, training, networking, and publications. The aim of the Centre is to integrate scholarship with activism, aesthetic appreciation with community development, comparative folklore studies with cultural diversities and identities, dissemination of information with multi-disciplinary dialogues, folklore fieldwork with developmental issues and folklore advocacy with public programming events. Folklore is a tradition based on any expressive behaviour that brings a group together, creates a convention and commits it to cultural memory. NFSC aims to achieve its goals through cooperative and experimental activities at various levels. NFSC is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Tata Education Trust.

The NFSC is a member of the Credibility Alliance. For information on the NFSC Board of Trustees, Staff, Annual Audit Reports and details of programme development, click here. To unsubscribe from this newsletter, mail info@indianfolklore.org. You can also give feedback, suggestions or criticism at info@indianfolklore.org NFSC, 508, Fifth Floor, ‘Kaveri Complex’, 96, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai- 600034, Tamilnadu, India Ph.:044-28229192, 044- 42138410, 044-28212706 www.indianfolklore.org

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