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Film and Digital Media for Open-governance
PRS Legislative Research, based in Delhi, has been set up with the objective of making the legislative process better informed, more transparent and participatory. PRS provides a comprehensive and credible resource base to access Parliament-specific data, background information and analysis of key issues. PRS also engages with citizens, through various forums and through both traditional and digital media. The target audience is young, active Internet users who may already be interested in governance and law.
The general idea of PRS’s work is to use creative ways to present governance and law based information in a simplified, easy to understand form. This digital output (in the form of videos, or mobile phone apps or other technological avenues that can be explored) would seek to inform the audience on the nuances of law making and good governance.
The research undertaken at this placement would draw on extensive research material available at PRS to identify 8-10 issues/ideas to present to a target audience. This may take a variety of formats, including animation, film or creating compelling narratives around parliamentary information. The opportunity would particularly suit researchers with an interest in using practise based research (particularly visual and digital arts) to engage with the public. It may also suit researchers with a background in law and literature.
Location: New Delhi
Augmenting Agriculture with New Technologies
Host organization Digital Green (DG) combines technology and community engagement to improve the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of small farmer livelihoods. Digital Green uses technology to reach out to its target audience: not only does it promote the use of technology to increase the efficiency of agricultural produce, it also uses film as a medium to spread expertise. Along with this work on the field, DG actively tries to engage an urban audience with the work it does, in order to connect the two. DG has also developed social networking games that are based on real life information of farmers: they have a database (farmerbook) that tracks each of the farmers it works with – on the technology adapted by them, their engagement with Digital Green, and real time updates on their current farming activities. DG is interested in developing ways to take this information back to the community for access and use through the course of this fellowship
A research placement with Digital Green would appeal to arts and humanities researchers with experience of working with social media or film in relation to community issues; with experience of reaching out to new and hard to reach audiences through digital media and/or with working across urban/rural settings.
Location: Andhra Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh
Gaming for Social Innovation
Host organisation Quicksand is a multi-disciplinary consultancy that brings user-centered design principles to the core of any innovation. A key strand of their work includes developing educational games using Kinect technologies to break age, class, language, and literacy barriers. They aim to engage their audiences in activities to communicate social messages.
Fellows will collaborate to develop new games that will be featured at a mini-arcade at UnBox.
Fellows will gain invaluable experience researching, developing, pitching, and presenting socially conscious video games that educate as well as entertain. It also presents a golden opportunity to network with peers in a real-life, full-spectrum development project.
Research could focus on a range of areas, and thus appeal to a wide range of arts and humanities researchers. Topics might include: the use of narrative in games-based scenarios; practise based creative (arts, digital, music, drama) researchers who are interested in the development of games for real world application. Another area to explore might be the reactions and responses of children and how these might feed in to further game development. Researchers who are interested in the work of games lab as described [in relevant link/annex] and feel they would have valuable contributions to their work are asked to put themselves forward.
Location: New Delhi
Culture and Heritage Preservation
Project host Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI) promotes India’s cultural heritage through community participation. CRCI consistently tries to harmonize the imperatives of heritage conservation with the historic and current realities of the site. Towards this end, it works in active partnership with communities to develop appropriate strategies for conservation in both rural and urban areas.
Teams might work on the following:
- Developing a mobile phone app that will map important sites and places of historic importance along the Grand Trunk Road (one of South Asia’s oldest and longest major roads), and build interactive ways of giving users information about each site. An important component of this might be the role of the research fellow in exploring narratives around these sites, and also using CRCI’s existing database to recreate/rewrite stories that would be used by the app to make this plethora of information more accessible.
- Creating recognition of important sites along the GRT that remain neglected due to the lack of either community ownership or government protection, through improved signage. CRCI would be interested to collaborate with researchers who might work in collaboration with visual artists on these ‘visual stories’.
- Exploring ways of promoting ownership of historical sites by the local population. A first step to this is researching and understanding ways in which everyday life can be integrated into the existence of these spaces.
The work of CRCI would appeal to a wide range of researchers, perhaps particularly those with experience of using historical and cultural information about heritage sites to bring them alive for communities. It would also suit those able to work with local communities through use of narrative and creative and performing arts in relation to these issues.
Location: Sirhind, Punjab
People Tree is an independent arts and crafts business that combines a sense of social and ecological responsibility with the spirit of collective creativity. People Tree is currently engaged in collaborating with chef Satish Warier, in setting up an arts, crafts and food space in Goa. They would like to develop this new venture into a demonstration space for a more ecologically active approach to art, food, crafts and heritage. "The larger aim of the project would be to increase community ownership and participation in the process of promoting sustainable tourism practices and policies in Goa – a region with a rich and diverse history as well as ecology, and in conserving its arts and crafts and its natural and built heritage".
Research within the people tree fellowship may focus on practical issues surrounding the need to work in a sustainable way that both conserves and highlights the heritage of the immediate and broader setting (a Portuguese villa in Goa). This might particularly appeal to arts and humanities researchers with an interest in sustainable design, especially those who draw on traditional techniques and practice. It might also interest those with experience of working on community based heritage projects, particularly those that relate to food, ecological practices, craft or design.