Video and audio recordings of the folk art forms of Kerala, painstakingly documented under a project funded by US-based Ford Foundation , are getting damaged at the Calicut University due to lack of proper care and conservation.
The local fund audit wing of the state government in its report has said that the archives at the varsity’s Centre for Folklore Studies is non-functional leading to valuable recordings created under the project getting damaged.
The four-year project, under which the varsity had received Rs 67 lakh grant from the Ford Foundation, had created around 400 hours of recordings of live performances of various folk and ritual art forms of Kerala, including 13 versions of the ancient ritual art form of Padayani and a rich variety of Theyyam performances.
The report said that the archives have around 500 CDs with the video and audio recordings of the live presentations of folk art forms.
“The CDs are lying in a room without proper care and there is no dedicated staff for its upkeep. We do not know how much of the recordings can be retrieved. There are chances that some of it has already got damaged. The Ford Foundation’s folklore project had a special focus on the Kali cult in Kerala. It would be a loss for the posterity if the work is not preserved,” Anil K M, former head of the Centre for Folklore Studies, said.
Experts said that some of the folk art forms documented under the project have become nearly extinct and so rare that it is practically impossible to video document them again.
He said that lack of funds and staff was posing hurdles for the maintenance and upkeep of the video recordings. “We had submitted a project to store the recordings in a cloud storage facility, but it has not taken off,” he added.
The folklore project funded by Ford Foundation was implemented during the 2002-2006 period and aimed to preserve and document the folklore tradition of the state. The project was headed by folklore expert Raghavan Payyanad.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kozhikode News / TNN / January 09th, 2018