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Kapila Vatsyayan

One of the main programmes of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is the Lifestyle Studies, which aim at exploring all fields of cultural knowledge with a view to understanding the structure and function of various communities in their totality. So far societies have been studied in linear, unidimensional form, by such disciplines as anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, science, history, art-history, development planning, etc. The Centre is evolving a model of studies based on the premise that life is not fragmented into separate dimensions, neither can a model replicate in full a total picture of the cultural life of the diverse groups and communities. It addresses itself to fundamental questions regarding Manís relationship with the Cosmic Order, his worldview on the manifestation of Space for various purposes through various mediums, his perception of Time through the ages and across cultures, his experience of Nature with reference to the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky), and his symbiotic relationship with Nature.

Pilot studies are being initiated on the interrelationship of nature, ecology, social structure, worldview, cosmology, daily routine, lifecycle, annual calendar, knowledge, skills, traditional technologies and artistic manifestations. Through specific community studies the interdependence in the arts, mutual influence amongst regions and interrelationship of the Ďtribalí, rural and urban, the literary and oral traditions are investigated. These studies often culminate in a monograph, audio-visual documentation and/or cartographical presentation of specific aspects of arts and crafts. The field studies also provide information to evolve computerizable modules for conducting further studies.

I am happy to introduce the first thematic monograph in this series of Pilot Studies.


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