Invites Applications for IFA-IFP Creative Project and IFA-IFP Scholarly Project

  • Application Deadline: Saturday, November 26, 2022
  • Those who are Indian nationals are eligible to apply.

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) invites applications for an IFA-IFP Creative Project and IFA-IFP Scholarly Project, under its Archives and Museums programme which IFA will implement.

The Archives and Museums programme of IFA has been initiated with a two-fold objective: to provide arts practitioners and researchers an opportunity to generate new, critical, and creative approaches for public engagement with archives and museum collections; and to energise these spaces as platforms for dialogue and discourse

About French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP):

The French Institute of Pondicherry is a Franco-Indian research institute with a strong commitment to the creation and stewardship of research archives across several disciplines. Established under the terms of the Treaty of Cession of French Territories in India and inaugurated on 20 March 1955, the IFP was envisioned at its inception as a centre for Franco-Indian cultural and scientific cooperation. Operating under the joint supervision of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNRS—the National Centre for Scientific Research, the IFP undertakes research in Indology, Social Sciences, Ecology and Geomatics with a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaborations. The archival collections at IFP have acted as incubators for new questions and inquiries, and, against the idea of archives being frozen in time; they have remained responsive to a changing world.

About the Collections at IFP:

By facilitating and undertaking research across the various disciplines of the natural and human sciences, IFP’s archival collections have grown exponentially to include a variety of materials like photographs, manuscripts, maps, herbarium specimens and pollen grains that have played an indispensable role in guiding and enriching research. For the Creative and Scholarly Projects, the Archive will open up the following collections:

The STARS Archive: In 2015, the IFP became a founding member of the Studies in Tamil Studio Archives and Society (STARS), which has developed a unique archive of Tamil commercial studio photography from studios all over present-day Tamil Nadu–the erstwhile Madras Presidency–Sri Lanka and South-East Asia. Presently, the STARS Physical Archive comprises over 5000 prints and several hundred negatives housed at the IFP and a more numerous digital collection of negatives and prints.

Herbarium: Established in 1956, the Herbarium of the French Institute of Pondicherry represents a storehouse of environmental memories and traces. The herbarium presently houses over 27,000 flora specimens belonging to 257 families and 5729 species from the Western Ghats, as well as other tropical forests from Madagascar, South Asia and South-East Asia. Besides being a valuable resource for ecologists and taxonomists, it would be of great interest to students, artists, and anyone interested in exploring the links between nature, society and culture.

The IFP Photo Archive: Set up in 1956, the IFP photo archive today consists of about 1,60,000 photographs. Besides its rich collection of photographs of South Indian monuments, temples, statues and religious art, the archive also contains numerous photographs that document landscapes, culture and people of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. These include photographs of archaeological sites, festivals, streetscapes, rural life and livelihoods, as well as digital copies of rare picture postcards of colonial French India from the early decades of the 20th century.

For more information on the archive and collection please visit

About the IFA-IFP Creative and Scholarly Projects:

The Creative Project offers the Project Coordinator the opportunity for curatorial and artistic engagement with the archival materials from all three collections, The STARS Archive, the Herbarium and the IFP Photo Archive, reimagine the collections in innovative ways and present the collections through public programmes such as talks, workshops, exhibitions etc. both online and offline.

For the Scholarly Project, the Project Coordinator will need to research and critically engage only with the collections of IFP Photo Archive and create content that will support the knowledge bank of the institution with tangible outcomes such as a monograph, essays, descriptive catalogue or finding aid etc. and present their research through public programmes both online and offline.

Both projects are envisioned for a period of one year.

Project Coordinators will be required to visit, study and research the collections at the physical archives of IFP at Pondicherry. Project Coordinators will have access to the specific materials mentioned above, over the project period. For more information about the collection and archival material that is available for research, please contact Bharat S, Archivist, at

Please note that IFA will be implementing both projects.

Applicant Profile:

We seek applications from curators, artists, researchers, writers, performers as well other creative practitioners; and from scholars with background in research and a keen interest in working with archival and museum collections.

For the Creative Project, we encourage applications that can artistically engage with all three collections. However, this is not mandatory and applicants may choose to focus on any of the three collections.

We also encourage applications that demonstrate abilities to think through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches and methodologies for their outcomes.

Since IFP is a physical archive based out of Pondicherry, the Project Coordinators will have to spend considerable amounts of time at the physical archives of IFP during the project period.

Application Guidelines:

Your application must include:

  • A proposal briefly describing a project (an exhibition, or outlines of creative outcomes that one can imagine, or research questions if it is a Scholarly project) that could be developed from the visual and textual material mentioned above. The description should include the vision, approach and possible outcomes. Proposals that work with materials overlapping the different collections at the archives are encouraged.
  • A brief note on other public programmes that could be developed from the material.
  • A detailed budget.
  • Your curriculum vitae with a brief description of a project you have been involved with as a curator, arts practitioner, or researcher. This description should comprise the vision, approach, processes, and outcomes that have resulted from that project. Please send us links and not attachments.

Project Budget:

The project cost should not exceed Rs 2,00,000/-

You may budget for an honorarium of Rs 12,000/- per month subject to a limit of Rs 1,44,000/- for the entire duration of the project. Please note that the total amount is inclusive of the honorarium.

  • Our funds will cover only project-related costs and activities and will not pay for infrastructure costs or equipment purchase.
  • Please ensure that each budget category pertains to a specific item of project-related expenditure.
  • Please note that IFA will implement this project with you directly as project coordinator.

Key Dates:

  • The deadline for receiving applications is Saturday, November 26, 2022.
  • Interviews with shortlisted candidates are expected to take place in December 2022.
  • The Project will commence in January 2023 for a period of one year

Email your applications or any queries to Ritwika Misra at with the subject line: Application for IFA-IFP Project

The IFA-IFP Team

India Foundation for the Arts
‘Apurva’ Ground Floor, No 259, 4th Cross, Raj Mahal Vilas 2nd Stage, 2nd Block, Bangalore – 560 094

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