SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Anais Da Fonseca

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Anais Da Fonseca
Ms Anais Da Fonseca
Email address:
Thesis title:
Contemporary Lives of Cherial Paintings from Telangana, India: Continuity and Changes
Internal Supervisors

External Supervisors

Dr. Naman Ahuja (JNU New Delhi),Dr. Valérie Gillet (EFEO Pondicherry)

PhD Research

The research focuses on a living tradition of scroll painting from Cherial, which is located in the Telangana region of South India.

These paintings were originally scrolls that performers would carry along with them as a visual help to the storytelling of local caste stories. They are part of a very conventional system of production that involves patrons, storytellers and painters. For several reasons, these performances have decreased and the production of painting has consequently changed. This had an influence on the materiality, the iconography and the meaning of the painting as well as their environment. Now, not only local communities are involved, but museums and the tourist market too.
The idea of this research is to explore the transformation of an on-going artistic form and question how the material features of these paintings respond to broader socio-political context of changes. This way, folklore could be presented as a dynamic encounter to these changes. It is a social study of art where the main axis is the correlation between the materiality of the paintings with their environment of production, presentation and reception.
Besides the historical dimension of the project, my methodology would divide these paintings in three categories, which are the painting for the local communities, the paintings for national and international art-oriented institutions and the paintings for tourism.


Affiliation to the EFEO Pondicherry (Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient) from Oct. 2013 to Sept. 2014
Affiliation to Jawaharlal Nehru University from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014