After a near nine month break I am once again turning my attention to the The Idea Of India project. This phase of the project is expected to last about nine months and will concentrate on the regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and, time permitting, West Bengal.
I arrived in India on February 5th, but have so far been concentrating on final research discussions and meetings. In particular I have been visiting the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), and meeting with Professor J.J. Roy Burman whose work provides key details and background to my explorations in Maharashtra. In addition I have been at the Madura Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) where Professor A.F. Mathew and Professor Rita Kothari have been assisting me with final details on sites and communities in the Gujarat region. I am affiliated with the Jamia Millia Islamia’s Center for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations in New Delhi, where Professor Madhu Khanna is acting as my referee for the work.
I still need to complete my research on the regions of Kerala and West Bengal. Thankfully some very generous and supportive individuals have agreed to take on these tasks and speed me along. I am constantly amazed at the support and assistance I am getting for this project, and realize how much of what I am producing depends on the generosity of others.
For those who are curious, they can explore the sites and communities that I expect to cover by following these google maps below. I will update my progress on the maps and highlight them here on The Spinning Head blog site throughout the course of my journey in India.
I am in Gujarat, and my focus will be these site. Of course, as in any such work, I continue to find new locations and new topics based on conversations I have with people who I meet along the way. So this map will be a work in progress, as will those on Maharashtra and Kerala. Below is a map of the various locations I intend on covering, though of course these are subject to change based on what I learn when on the ground:
Regular updates will appear on this site in the coming days. I have already begun work in Gujarat and am preparing site updates as we speak. Sorry, no photographs until the work is complete. I continue to shoot film and continue to accept the limitations of the medium.