Social Science Baha

Interactive Mapping and Archive Project

Duration: 1 March, 2009 to 28 February, 2011

With the support of Ford Foundation, the Social Science Baha began the Interactive Mapping and Archive Project (IMAP) with the objective of creating a digital archive for the art and theatre scene of the Kathmandu Valley. The idea behind IMAP is to map the cultural space of the Valley by archiving the work of cultural institutions and independent artists working on contemporary art and theatre. The project began by identifying and archiving the materials of key institutions and artists followed by the setting up of a website for the archive.

The IMAP Fellowship in Theatre and Art
The IMAP Fellowship in Theatre and Art is a six-month research fellowship aimed at enhancing and broadening research prospects in the field of art and theatre. The fellowship intends to stimulate research on marginalised art and theatre groups/individuals, and challenge the parameters and definitions of what constitutes ‘art’ and ‘the artist’ in the context of the Valley. The fellows are encouraged to collect new material for the archive as well as submit a research paper, in a topic of the researcher’s choice.

The IMAP Fellowship in Theatre and Art for the period July-December 2009 were awarded to: a. Pranab Man Singh (‘Defining Art from Nepal – Nepali Art’); b. Pratima Sharma (‘Stigma in Nepalese Theatre: A Political Representation’); and c. Amrita Gurung (‘Evolution of the Representation of Women in Nepali Theatre’). Similarly, the awardees for January-June 2010 are: a. Sharada Chitrakar (‘Newari Ritual Folk Art –Punjya’); b. Promina Shrestha (‘Poubha in the 21st Century: A Comparative Study of the Stylistics and Iconography of Traditional Art of Kathmandu Valley’); c. Narendra Sahu (‘Madheshi Dalit Art in Kathmandu Valley’); and d. Bal Bahadur Thapa (‘Theatre of Dalits: A Marginalised Theatre in the Kathmandu Valley’).

IMAP Interview Series
Beginning in August 2009, the series interviewed senior contemporary artists, performers, and persons in some major institutions. The archive already includes more than fifty video and audio interviews, and on average, two hours of footage from each interview. The artists talk about their personal background, their cultural upbringing, technical and financial aspects of art and theatre, and above all, about their work. A number of artists talk about the negotiation between modernity and tradition as represented in their work. Others talk about the relationship between art and politics, or about art and society in general.