On the occasion of
International Women's Day, following events are proposed to be held
under the aegis of the newly revived Narivada Prakalpa of the IGNCA:
1. Panel Discussion on Women's World: Choices, Challenges and future
During the day time, a panel discussion
on the aforementioned theme will be organized in two sessions.
2. Performances on Celebrating
Performances by such women artistes who
have created their niche and space in the field of traditional
art-forms . These art-forms are Baul from Bengal (Ms. Reena Das Baul
and accompanists), Kirtan from Maharashtra (Ms.Krantigeeta Mahabala
and group), and Hari-Katha from Andhra Pradesh (Ms. Uma Maheshwari and
Venue : IGNCA Premises, New Delhi
Contact No. : 011-23388063
The IGNCA is premier national institution
engaged in the preservation, dissemination of knowledge in the fields of
arts, culture, lifestyle studies and folklore. It encompasses the experience
and study of all the artistic traditions that enhance human life. One of the
major aims of the Centre is to elucidate the formative and dynamic factors
in the complex web of interactions among diverse social strata, communities,
regions and gender as inherent in the rich cultural heritage of India. The
IGNCA is concerned with the integral study of culture pertinent to the
Indian ethos and reality. This approach presupposes an interdisciplinary
dialogue among disciplines.
In the past the Centre has been involved in
projecting several dimensions of women's creativity in the field of
photography, fine arts, performing arts and the indigenous expressions of
women through local knowledge systems such as, embroidery, crafts, poetry,
folklore and rituals. In 2003, the IGNCA organized an international seminar
on "Reframing Gender in the Context of Culture of India". The
seminar brought together eminent scholars from different disciplines to
explore the ways in which cultural resources can be used as a tool for the
empowerment of women. Nārīvāda: Gender, Culture and Civilization Network is
a spin off from the various exploratory efforts of IGNCA in the field of
gender and culture.
Gender, Culture & Civilization Network
In recent years, most explorations in the
field of gender and culture in India have been viewed from a Marxist,
Socialist, Liberal or Modern perspective in the context of the
socio-political reality of our society. These approaches have consigned
cultural resources, such as religious scriptures and texts, symbols,
powerful feminine icons in oral and written tradition, myths, and legends,
life-style of primal communities and grass-root traditions to the dust heap
of history. In most cases, these cultural resources have been looked at from
a Western or alien perspective and have suffered from the onslaught of the
reductive theoretical positions that modernity adopts to view ancient or
civilizational cultures. Can we make these areas as a point of departure for
changing our attitudes towards the gender question? The primary aim of
Nārīvāda Network is to look upon such hidden and hitherto neglected areas
where culture becomes a main resource for women's empowerment. the main
objectives is to revalidate the rich cultural resources to create a platform
of discourse along with gender activism which presupposes the value of these
- To create a new paradigm and
'Hermeneutics' of gender discourse.
- To create a new vantage point of looking
at our past by taking a constructive, rather than a destructive view of
- To recognize the importance of
multi-cultural matrix and hybridity that forms the basis of Indian
culture; to use this understanding as a lens for revisioning a
constructive dialogue and critical explorations in all spheres of
our tradition, written and oral, in urban, rural and tribal settings,
through interdisciplinary studies.
- To create theories and methodologies
with an indigenist intent with the aim of articulating new vocabularies.
- To collect and to bring together all the
research documents available from all over Indian on the 'Intangible
Heritage' of women.
- To work by and large from and within
existing social frames in urban, rural and primal communities in tribal
belt of India. This is based on the understanding that the social
frameworks in the given Indian context (with the exception of isolated
pockets in urban areas) are different from the Western notion of
high-ranking, self-centered and self sufficient individualism. Our
social frames are based on community participation, social privileges
and duty-centered social ethics. This basic frame is the foundation of
community centered sister-networks in India which need to be tapped.
- To give legitimacy to women's experience
over carefully constructed highly theoretical insular debates.
- To support, new social frames that
empowers women, such as the panchayati raj movement, which is
anchored in creating leadership of women in the political and social
- To motivate and support gender activism.
Our partner networks in this venture
include intersectoral government bodies, university faculties in India and
abroad; academic experts in the field of gender, religion and cultural
studies, NGO's, international agencies and a panel of distinguished resource
The IGNCA committee consists of all the
faculty members and professional staff from the four departments (KK,
KN, JS, KD) chaired by the Member-Secretary.
The projects in this area cover research,
publications, promoting awareness and advocacy, networking with other
institutions, governmental bodies and resource persons, organizing seminars,
conferences, colloquiums, workshops and catalyzing gender activism. the
following two major projects are being explored:
on the Oral History of Women about the Making of the Indian Nation
The contemporary history of women's
problems, roles and status presents a picture of complexity. Despite the
explosion of research and publications, there are several crucial areas of
research, which have been neglected. One area of profound significance is
the relationship between women's empowerment and the process of
socio-political formation that resulted in the birth of the Indian Nation.
We will explore the alternative oral history of 'Her-stories of Nationalism'
of women who were participants, onlookers, or receivers of stories of the
freedom movement from the older generation of women. There are innumerable
women whose silent voices need to be heard. Some contemporary feminists
believe that collective feminism in India was born in the first wave
feminism in the 1970's . This is untrue. The oral popular history of women
matriots may prove otherwise.
The project proposes to record the
retelling of the experiences, motivations and Gandhi's strategy of
non-violent revolt from women's perspective.
Regional and cultural pluralism of India makes these conversations a vivid
historiography of the people who embody half the sky.
of Endangered Wisdom Traditions and Traditional Knowledge Systems of Women
This project aims to document and
disseminate women's contribution to the endangered 'Intangible Heritage' in
the following areas: (1) Aesthetic Systems: art and crafts; (2)
Representations of Collective Memory: oral narratives, songs and legends;
(3) Rituals and Ceremonies in the domestic and public spheres: (4)
Traditional Environment Management Systems; (5) Traditional Healing Systems;
and (6) Women's protection of food diversity and agrarian knowledge. In the
first phase, we propose to carry out this research in Madhubani, Bihar,
Chattisgarh, Orissa and in the states of Arunachal and Assam in North-eat