Madan Meena

Madan Meena is a visual artist and researcher. He has worked extensively with artists and craftspersons of Rajasthan. His doctoral dissertation from the University of Rajasthan was on the 'Art of the Meena Tribe'. He continues to work as a researcher with the women of the Meena tribe and has documented and exhibited their Mandana wall paintings across the country and abroad. He has two books on this subject, 'Joy of Creativity' and 'Nurturing Walls'. As a practising visual artist, Madan has exhibited his own works extensively.

As a curator, he has designed an exhibition on brooms for Arna Jharna, the 'Desert Museum of Rajasthan’ of Rupayan Sansthan (Institute of Rajasthan folklore studies) in Jodhpur. For this he travelled throughout Rajasthan studying the broom-making communities, their socio-political and cultural issues. He was Associate Director for the film ‘Jharu Katha’ on the same subject.

His association with late Komal Kothari, one of India's leading folklorists and oral historians inspired him to start independent research and documentation in eastern Rajasthan where he is based, and he has been systematically recording the oral traditions of rural communities. Madan received a grant from Cambridge University under the World Oral Literature Project (WOLP) to document Tejaji Ballad. Under the grant he has published a book ‘Tejaji Gatha’ and an audio DVD. His interest in languages has led him to start his work on the secret language of the nomadic and de-notified tribes in Rajasthan. For this he has received a fellowship from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, USA. As a state coordinator for Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Baroda, he edited the Hindi and English volumes on Rajasthani under the People’s Linguistic Survey of India project. He was also a state coordinator for ICSSR’s project of surveying the educational status among the nomadic and de-notified tribes of Rajasthan.

Madan has received a Senior Research Fellowship from CCRT (Department of Culture, Govt. of India), to extend his work in folklore studies in Marwar (western Rajasthan). He is a Trustee of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre-Vadodara and Executive Member of Kota Heritage Society. As visiting faculty he teaches traditional crafts at the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur. He currently works and lives in Kota, Rajasthan.

Images from the recording session of Raja Bharathari-ki-Katha at village Banda of Sawai Madhopur district, Rajasthan. The musicians are from the Jogi community.