2016 has been the most engaging year for us by far; so much so that we weren’t able to reach out to you regularly. Our sincerest apologies for that!
January opened with the news that I was selected as Asia Foundation Development Fellow 2016—an opportunity that has been such an enriching experience, where I have been able to explore new geographical terrain, test my capabilities and hone my skills.
January also had adivaani travelling to the Jaipur Literature Festival, where I spoke at three sessions (one at the Jaipur Book Mark) engaging new audience with Adivasi literature and those who produce it.
In March adivaani in collaboration with Dr. Mark Elliott, Senior Curator for Anthropology, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge organised a workshop with Adivasi sculptors and artisans in preparation for an exhibition in 2017; where the participating artists could respond to the existing collection from 19th century Adivasi India and contribute with their own artworks.
All along we were working on four books. The first was Jacinta Kerketta’s bi-lingual (Hindi-English) poetry book Angor and its German version Glüt; which were released in May, first in Ranchi and then in Germany. I had the opportunity to speak on Santali Literature at the annual India Literature Forum, Germany before heading on a cross-country tour along with Jacinta, presenting both books at events at universities, bookstores and cultural hubs.
In September, Ngaire Gardner’s book Illustrated Pursuits: W. S. Sherwill in India 1834–1861 was published; a collection of drawings, published articles and maps by Walter Stanhope Sherwill, who spent a total twenty-seven years in India as Revenue Surveyor.
Gardner is the great-great-granddaughter of Sherwill and when she proposed the book to us, we knew little of Sherwill except that the iconic drawing of Sidhu Murmu in jail, one of the brothers famous for leading the Santal Rebellion 1855–57, was in all probability drawn by him. That and his other works showcased my people and their locales from a hundred and fifty years ago and that was incentive enough to produce that book.
Then the first week of October had us gather at Gangpur College of Social Work-Sundargarh, Odisha for the Second National Congress (Jatra) organised by the Tribal Intellectual Collective India and several co-hosts (including adivaani). We launched volume 3 of the Tribal and Adivasi Studies Series—Social Work in India, edited by bodhi s. r.
This year adivaani also got its 12AA (tax exemptions certificate) and 80G (50% tax exemption for donors from India) consolidating it’s legal status as a non-profit.
As the year comes to a close, we are only grateful for the year that’s been. We appreciate everyone who has stood by us, sustained us and celebrated every milestone big and small with us.
As we step into the New Year, we look forward to another eventful year and we hope you’d share this journey with us. More books and more projects are in the pipeline for 2017.
We thank you for your solidarity, always.