Opportunities > SSAF-AAA Research Grant for Archiving Histories of Art, Ideas, and Visual Culture 2022
13 Mar 2022

SSAF-AAA Research Grant for Archiving Histories of Art, Ideas, and Visual Culture 2022

The Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF) and Asia Art Archive (AAA) in India are pleased to announce the SSAF–AAA Research Grant for Archiving Histories of Art, Ideas, and Visual Culture 2022. This grant, which marks the fourth year of collaboration between SSAF and AAA in India, emerges from AAA’s ongoing endeavour to digitise, document, and make publicly accessible recent histories of art in the region by deploying a range of innovative archival practices and research methods.

This grant is in line with SSAF’s commitment to work with cross-disciplinary initiatives that address the often difficult and sometimes endangered conditions of informal archiving, the challenges posed by the fugitive political conditions of their assembly and use, and the possible links of such materials with alternative and heterodox practices in the arts and in intellectual work.

The grant aims to:

  • Encourage the use of innovative methodologies for purposes of identifying, documenting, researching, and annotating materials that have hitherto been inaccessible in the public domain and are often fugitive, for reasons often political in nature. This could result in the creation of an archive that is transformational of our existing understanding of that field.
  • Open up research avenues into histories that are viewed as a constituent part of wider discursive fields, specific regional milieus, and the politics of image-making and circulation.
  • Support projects that consider both the long-term and short-term consequences of making such materials publicly available in all its pulsating vitality, and the possible forms these will take.
  • Support innovative modes of reading and interpreting the materials that emerge from recognition of their locational importance.

Applicants are encouraged to suggest new connections between print cultures, intellectual histories, the visual arts, and marginalised social, political, and cultural movements; lay new trails for unpacking the archive that is consolidated under the purview of the grant; and propose the form of the outcome that such research will take.

We invite proposals that interrogate how print and visual cultural materials of different kinds—journals, magazines, posters, pamphlets, books, little magazines, ephemera, etc.—contributed to, constituted, and were embedded in the cultural politics of a historical moment. Preference will be given to proposals that focus on print and visual cultural materials in regional languages that are out of circulation, and are not located in public collections, with an intent to make these materials accessible to the best extent possible, and in the most meaningful and productive ways.

Areas of research may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Social or political movements that extended to print culture, and mapping the visual, literary, and political histories therein.
  2. The intellectual contribution of artists, activists, poets, writers, editors, designers, or publishers who played an important role in the evolution of such print and visual cultural materials, and the debates therein.
  3. The movement of ideas on art, literature, poetry, aesthetics, and cultural practices within print culture, and as they occur via translation between languages and contexts.


  • Research that aims to unearth print and visual cultural materials that are not accessible in public collections, and that preferably engages with regional language materials and milieus.
  • Research proposals that are interdisciplinary and deploy innovative methodologies, with clearly defined objectives and outcomes, and an outline of the relevant proposed area of research.
  • Proposals feasible for completion within the given duration of the grant.

Five candidates will be shortlisted for interviews on the basis of their applications. The interviews will be conducted online in April 2022; and one grantee will be selected from among those interviewed by a panel consisting of one external member, one member from SSAF, and one member from AAA in India. The selected grantee will be contacted by end of April 2022.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Individuals who are Indian nationals residing in India, or collectives whose members are Indian nationals residing in India.
  • Individuals with relevant qualifications or professional experience and are already engaged in such research.

Deadline for Applications: 13 March 2022

Duration of Grant: One year: 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2023

Grant Amount: Up to INR 3,00,000