The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Aparna Sharma: When Women Weave

Aparna Sharma (UC Los Angeles): $10,000 for When Women Weave. Visual Arts Practice and Research

‘When Women Weave’ is a multichannel documentary installation based on the weaving, social environment and living rhythms so observed at Tezpur District Mahila Samiti, Assam, India. This project will culminate in a site-specific, immersive installation using documentary. TDMS is a grassroots, women’s organization that undertakes crafts-based projects to support rural and destitute women. Its key initiative is a weaving workshop that was formed in 1919, recognizing the centrality of weaving in this religion. This workshop seeks to preserve traditional tribal and folk weaving methods that have been steadily eroding since colonial times. Using ethnographic methods of observation this project will document weaving processes; the broader TDMS social environment and resident women weavers’ daily lives; and folklore including songs and oral narratives associated with weaving. Each of these materials will be edited into a narrative loop, creating 3 components that will be projected on 3 screens to create a multi-screen based immersive environment that will evoke and emplace the viewer sensorially amidst this craft-based environment.

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