Prakriti Foundation Residency

Residency brief

Prakriti Foundation was founded in Chennai in 1998 to host events enquiring into cultural heritage and inheritance in order to change and enlarge the cultural scene of Chennai. Since its creation, Prakriti has been a free space where scholars, researchers, artists, critics, poets and filmmakers could present their work to those who engage with it on serious terms. The Foundation organizes four festivals and events across various performing and non-performing art forms, among which are lecture demonstrations, poetry readings, film screenings, and intimate performances.

The French Institute in India is one of the major supporters of the Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards (PECDA), a national-level biennial award for contemporary dance (one-of-a-kind in South Asia). PECDA is a platform for Indian contemporary dance forms, exposing artists to a wider audience and network. With Villa Swagatam, French practitioners will be able to experience this vivid scene, and discover and engage with new, emerging forms of expression, which weave their own language and grammar in India.

  • Thematic focus Performing arts (contemporary dance)
  • Location Chennai or Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu)
  • Dates November 2023 - February 2024
  • Length of stay 1 month

Our Space

Chennai or Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu)

According to the nature of the selected artistic project, the residency will either take place at Thyagaraya Nagar in Chennai - capital city of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost Indian state – or at Mangala, in Nagapattinam, in a refurbished heritage home located at the heart of the region, in a quiet agrarian village.

Thyagaraya Nagar, commonly known as T. Nagar, and historically known as East Mambalam, is a very affluent commercial and residential neighbourhood in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. T. Nagar is believed to be the first planned urban neighborhood in Chennai created in 1920, conceived in a European style, with the Panagal Park resembling the Arc De Triomphe and the Pondy Bazaar resembling the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Initially built as a residential neighbourhood, it is now considered the largest shopping district in India by revenue. It is known for its plethora of saree and jewellery retailers, including multiple big brands. The neighbourhood is served by Mambalam railway station of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network. T. Nagar is considered one of the city's major central business districts, the other being Parry's Corner, the centre of the city.

Mangala is a 100-year-old house that formed part of the fabric of the communities who lived in the immediate vicinity of the stunning Agneeswara Temple at Thirupugalur Village. The layout of the streets and houses follows the classical tradition with an inner & outer square grid around the temple. The village is a quaint, slow place perfect for think tanks and to unwind in its sleepy, fresh south Indian rural charm. The house is right opposite to the village temple with nothing but the temple tank in between. Plenty of chances to explore the quiet countryside by walk, or bicycles.

Residency conditions

  • Depending on the nature of his/her artistic project, the resident will be provided with a dance studio in Chennai, or a think-tank space in the Mangala Heritage Home in Nagapattinam.
  • The resident will be provided with on-site accommodation, which includes a studio apartment in Gemini Parsn Apartments (Chennai) or a homestay in Mangala Heritage (Nagapattinam).
  • The resident will be provided with three meals a day, along with tea/coffee available upon request.
  • In addition, the resident will receive a fixed stipend of INR. 30,000 per month to cover his/her living expenses.
  • The resident’s travel costs to and from his/her home address will be covered by the French Institute in India.
  • The resident should be willing to devote up to 20% of his/her residency time participating in various public engagement events such as talks, performances, workshops, open studio, etc. organized by the Prakriti Foundation, or the French Institute in India.
  • The resident is expected to produce a short report about his/her experience, in a free format, that could be published later on.

Eligibility criteria

The resident has to be autonomous and must have a working knowledge of English.