At the start of next year I will embark on a research trip to to India. I will research into the history and cultural context of shadow puppetry.
[image: Ramachandra Pulvar]
This will include spending 3 weeks with puppeteer master Ramachandra Pulvar in Kerala. Pulvar is from a lineage of shadow puppeteers, he is a leader in the craft in the region, and he is internationally known for his art. He creates shadow puppets in the Tholpava Koothu tradition (using materials such as deer skins, natural dye from the Kasav tree) and he performs using scripts which have been written down in ancient Sanskrit. Kerala is one of very few regions in India where shadow puppetry continues to function as a cultural (and sometimes religious) event. Indian shadow puppetry has a long heritage and shadow puppetry and is an ancient artform in Kerala. I’ll also spend some time meeting the the lovely people from the Idian puppetry scene -puppetry festival producers and directors, and get to see some great work I hope!
The trip is supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund (a new stream of funding form the Arts Council which supports artists’ travel), the Artists Travel Bursary from the Puppet Centre Trust, and Sound Travels (and indian arts travel organisation).
I am currently booking trains, planes and automobiles. Getting jabs, nets and sandals. Reading guides, texts, and useful-website-information. I’ll post on this site whilst I am out there, so please keep checking back.