Political Pamphlets, Photographs and Local Journals: Narrating ideas of indigeneity in Jharkhand, India

Jawaharlal Nehru University will assess and catalog materials documenting indigeneity in modern Jharkhand, India. Published and private print materials document the local politics and culture and illuminate the community perspectives of mainstream India. Voices from the margins reveal an alternative history of struggle for justice, dignity, and human rights.

Jawaharlal Nehru University will preserve and conduct a survey on a collection consisting of photographs and written works (both published and private). The printed materials involve a diverse set of mediums such as letters, diaries, meeting minutes, political pamphlets, locally-printed journals, old magazines, and copies of newsletters. The materials date from 1900 to 2019 and are written in a range of languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, and tribal languages such as Kurukh, Nagri, and Mundari.

One of the difficulties of documenting the history and culture of India's adivasis (local tribes) is the lack of archival records and references. The current records for this project are fragile and at risk of permanent loss, which requires urgent preservation. Cataloging these materials for future digitization will allow for adivasis cultural heritage and history to be open for research and reference.

To recover and preserve adivasis history, alternative types of records reflecting local voices and their struggle for justice need to be identified, accumulated, and digitized. This project will bring forward the underrepresented histories of Jharkhand's indigenous communities and will show how these histories developed over an entire century.

The timeline for this project has been delayed due to limitations caused by COVID-19.

Project Details

Location: India, Southern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Jawaharlal Nehru University Funder(s): Modern Endangered Archives Programme (MEAP) Funding received: $15,000 Commencement Date: 10/2020 Project Status: Active
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