The exhibition catalog has 160 pages.
A chapter written by Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology, emeritus, is featured in the Flavours of the Arts:
From Mughal India to Bollywood exhibition catalog for Geneva’s Musée d’ethnographie. This pertinently illustrated book focuses on the close relationship between music, painting and film in northern India.
His chapter is titled, “Living with Pictures. Study, Film and Life in Naya (West Bengal).”
Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology, emeritus, was appointed to “Professor Catedratico” for the fall semester at the Instituto Superior de Ciencias do Trabalho e da Epresa – Lisbon University Institute. This is the highest appointment offered in the Portuguese University system.
There, Östör is teaching a course on the “History of Visual in Anthropology” for the new master’s program in Visual Anthropology.
“Lisbon is a delightful place, deep histories and memories of ages and ethnicities, well reflected in the cuisine (the wine and seafood are superb and affordable in the numerous tascas, neighborhood eateries, throughout the city) definitely a place to visit and a people to spend time with,” Östör says.
The 35-minute film, Songs of a Sorrowful Man, explores the life of a painter, composer and singer living in West Bengal, India.
The new film, Songs of a Sorrowful Man, directed by Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology, emeritus, and edited by film major Joe Sousa ’03, began its journey debuting at the biennial Royal Anthropological Film Festival, held at Leeds University in July.
The film was then shown at the the American Anthropological Association meeting in Philadelphia, Pa. Dec. 2-6. It also was screened recently at at Brown where it was featured as the lead event in Brown’s “Year of India” celebrations (2009-10).
The “sorrowful man,” Dukhushyam Chitrakar is a charismatic figure who encourages women to take up the traditional craft of scroll painting and musical composition pursued almost exclusively by men before.
In a series of edited sequences, the film chronicles Dukhushyam’s vision of the decline and rebirth of his art; his tolerant Sufi Muslim spirituality; his engagement with Hindus, Muslims and the modern world; his encyclopedic knowledge of changing musical and painting histories and techniques; the influence of his beliefs on his way of life, and his teachings for future generations of painters and singers in his community.
Read more about the film in an Oct. 27, 2009 Wesleyan Connection article.
Fourteen scrolls, painted by Naya women, are on display.
Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology and professor of film studies, loaned 14 new paintings to an ongoing exhibition held at the National Museum of Etnologia in Lisbon. The paintings are created by women in the Naya Village in Bengal, India who have formed a scroll painters’ cooperative in an effort to keep this centuries old practice alive. Östör is the co-director of a film, “Singing Pictures,” which examines the ancient art of “singing-scroll making” in Bengali and features the Chitrakar women. The 14 new scrolls, part of the exhibit “Singing Pictures: Art and Performance of Naya Women,” will substitute those that have already been on exhibition.
The museum also purchased a whole batch of paintings from the Naya women for their collections.
In September, Östör and the Naya women donated dozens of rare Yanomamo, Sudanese and Eritrean artifacts/ethnographic objects.