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

The SSAF-AAA Research Grant for Archiving Histories of Art, Ideas, and Visual Culture, a collaboration between Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF) and Asia Art Archive (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.