Organization - National Folklore Support Centre

National Folklore Support Centre
Basic Information
English National Folklore Support Centre
Local language
Country India
Category Research Institute General NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Identification
Documentation
Education and Training
Promotion
Established year 1997
Objectives

National Folklore Support Centre (NFSC) is a nongovernmental, non-profit organisation, registered in Chennai dedicated to the promotion of Indian folklore research, education, training, networking, and publications. The aim of the Centre is to integrate scholarship with activism, aesthetic appreciation with community development, comparative folklore studies with cultural diversities and identities, dissemination of information with multidisciplinary dialogues, folklore fieldwork with developmental issues and folklore advocacy with public programming events. Folklore is a tradition based on any expressive behaviour that brings a group together, creates a convention and commits it to cultural memory. NFSC aims to achieve its goals through cooperative and experimental activities at various levels.

Introduction

National Folklore Support Centre has firmly consolidated its position as the premier academic and public folklore organization in India through creation of resources such as a substantial audio visual archive based on ethnographic fieldwork, publications, documented public programs, Internet broadcastings, and specialized library facilities. Program initiatives at NFSC are undertaken primarily for the sake of creation of resources for the folklore field consisting of folk artists, scholars, activists, institutions, and communities.

The types of resources are databases, methodologies, library and archival collections, manuals and guides, reference works such as encyclopaedia, replicable prototypes, publications and other media that act as forum for the field and create knowledge in a particular domain where there is a perceivable gap. NFSC has examples in each of the types mentioned above.

NFSC pursues and sustains the scholarly quest in such a way that at the end of a serial we have a significant body of work. Examples of serialized programs include series of lectures, the quarterly newsletter, Indian Folklife, workshops in visual arts traditions of India, and research and documentation projects on the oral epics of India. In case of theoretical endeavors, an inquiry is carried over several seminars, symposiums, and publications.

NFSC’s way of addressing the challenges involved in each of its projects is in built into the programming cycle and the solutions are arrived at through wide consultations with the constituencies NFSC serves. NFSC chooses to work with highly marginalized and historically disadvantaged communities. For the best deployment of resources, viability of a project, possibility of comparisons in different contexts, and prior research done are also taken into consideration in deciding the program/ research themes.

Major Activities

NFSC’s past programs include:

  • Establishing six digital community archives at various locations in the country. The organization is working closely with collaborators and the local community to set up digital archives of oral traditions and traditional knowledge systems of marginalized and endangered communities in a manner that is participatory and empowering.
  • Conducting serial public programs including lectures and film screenings. Workshops on the visual arts traditions of India are conducted regularly in city colleges with artistes from marginalized communities.
  • Running an extensive publications program that includes bringing out a monthly email newsletter, the quarterly newsletter, Indian Folklife, and the annual research journal, Indian Folklore Research Journal. The Centre is managing a portal which currently hosts 13 journals on folklore and allied disciplines (http://indianfolklore.org/journals/ ) Eight of these have uploaded at least one issue and five have invited submissions. A few have print versions and others are exclusively online. The Centre has also published several books. d. Building encyclopaedias on folklore and dictionaries of endangered languages. Of the two encyclopaedias – one is for children on the folklore relating to birds, animals and plants found in the country and one is to be a comprehensive resource on Indian folklore. Research and fieldwork for the digital community archives is also feeding into the creation of dictionaries for endangered languages such as Jenu Kuruba and Gondi.
  • Promoting inter-cultural research by establishing collaborations, providing fellowships for scholars in north-eastern India to conduct research on indigenous communities other than their own and providing students access to a vast collection of documented and archived folklore. f. Setting up an online learning site with several courses on folklore being constructed by experts in the field and staff at the Centre. National Folklore Support Centre adminstered the Tata Fellowships in Folklore program and the details acan be accessed at http://indianfolklore.org/TataFellowships/
Contact Information (Organization)
Website www.indianfolklore.org
Address No 508, Fifth Floor, Kaveri Complex, 96, Nungamabakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai- 600034
Tel 91-9789054676
Fax
E-mail muthu@indianfolklore.org

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