FEBRUARY 2020

Welcome to the second issue of the IFP's newsletter!

A big thank you to all our readers for your support and words of appreciation on the launch of our newsletter in December last year!

This second issue again covers our latest projects, activities and events, many of which were organised in collaboration with government agencies, academic institutions and other local stakeholders. From raising awareness about our fragile wetlands on World Wetlands Day, to engaging with farmers on organic methods of cultivation, to organising lectures aimed at providing fresh perspectives on India, our activities span a wide gamut of themes that are sure to interest both researchers and the public at large.

We hope that you will continue to follow our activities -- through this newsletter as well as on Facebook and Twitter -- and to participate in them whenever you can. If you would like to see other information featured in this newsletter, do share your ideas with us!


Snapshots from the workshop "Local food system of Pondicherry: A discussion on food sovereignty and agro-ecology transition" organised by the French Institute of Pondicherry in collaboration with the Agricultural Department of Pondicherry from January 22-25, 2020.


1st prize winner in the landscape and nature category of the Wetland Photographic competition organized by IFP to celebrate our natural heritage and World Wetlands Day 2020.


MARCH 2020

Les conférences de l’Institut Français de Pondichéry
« Un autre regard sur l’Inde » L'Inde au-delà des clichés
Lectures on Culture, Environment and Society

On Tuesdays 6:30 PM

MARCH 26 - 27, 2020


Organic fair with Namma Unavu


DECEMBER 3, 2020

Détruire la nature pour mieux la protéger ? - Raphaël Mathevet (IFP-CNRS)

The talk questions the place of nature and the wild in public policies, including within the network of areas protected since the nineteenth century. The success of the multiplication of national parks, reserves and wildlife sanctuaries hides questions about the state of nature but also the relationships we have with her.

DECEMBER 10, 2020

Le yoga est-il hindou ? - Raphaël Voix (IFP-CNRS)

From the results of recent research in Indology and social sciences, the talk attempts to clarify in what ways yoga and Hinduism are articulated through time.

JANUARY 7, 2020

Faire une campagne électorale en Inde? - David Picherit (IFP-CNRS)

The talk by David Picherit focused on enthusiasm for the elections and democracy in India and attempts to explore if there is a particular relationship to politics or is it particular way of making an election campaign that draws the huge participation in elections.

JANUARY 14, 2020

L’urbanisation rapide détruit-elle les villes indiennes ? - Nicolas Bautès (IFP-université de Caen)

The talk primarily discussed about how rapid is urbanization and its impact on Indian cities. This speedy expansion has not only transformed the morphology of cities but also paved the way for imbalance in economic, social or political regimes. Our Researcher Dr. Nicolas Bautès explained how to approach the complex problems of Indian cities that are of multifaceted in nature.

JANUARY 21, 2020

Les mangroves s'adaptent-t-elles aux changements climatiques ? - Christophe Proisy (IFP-IRD)

Mangroves develop between land and ocean in the tropical regions. Each mangrove region has its own story built by the influence of hydro-sedimentary and geological processes over millions of years. The capability of mangroves to cope with present global change is discussed based on the conclusions revealed by combined ground truth and satellite observations.

JANUARY 22 - 25, 2020

Workshop on Local food system of Pondicherry: A discussion on food sovereignty and agro-ecology

A four-day workshop on the local food systems of Puducherry, food sovereignty and the agro-ecology transition, hosted by the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) in association with the Department of Agriculture was held from January 22-25, 2020. The objective of the event was to organise a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and social health of Pondicherry. Mr. R. Kamalakannan, Agriculture Minister for Puducherry, inaugurated the workshop and said farmers engaged in organic forms of cultivation were at the forefront of a bottom-up transition to healthy foods. As part of the workshop field visits to organic farms were conducted followed by an organic food exhibition which marked the end of the workshop.

Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm generated by the 2020 edition, several follow up actions involving the cross section of academia, farmers and consumers (broadly) are planned during 2020 to help further develop this theme in the next edition in 2021: considering the diversity of players this includes, research and outreach and to facilitate this a broad umbrella network சார்பு (SaArPu) has been established to coordinate the ensuing intersection and interactions between society , science and the living world (earth).

(சார்பு means dependence/ interdependence) and here it is taken to indicate the same between Society, Science , Earth.

JANUARY 29, 2020

Géographie de la nuit (talk by Luc Gwiazdzinski) and dance show by Rekha Tandon

Night of Ideas 2020 with Geographer Luc Gwiazdzinski discussing "GEOGRAPHY OF THE NIGHT" was held as a part of Pondicherry heritage Festival at IFP terrace. The talk was followed by an blissful Odissi dance show by Rekha Tandon.

MARCH 24 - 26, 2020


Heroes of Swachh Bharat (Exhibition)

FEBRUARY 18, 2020

Demise of analog photography? - Rameshkumar K. Head, Photo Archives, IFP

Many photo studios were regularly destroying their collections by selling negatives (glass and film) to silver-extractors. Similarly, families are discarding the portraits of the older generations by selling them to second-hand wood and glass dealers who dismantle the frame to recycle the materials. The lack of awareness about the value of this unique heritage further results in the deterioration of the remaining photographic material in Tamil Nadu. The talk explained the different productions of black and white manually processed studio photography (prints, negatives and glass plates) which are rapidly disappearing either through natural degradation or, in many cases, voluntary destruction.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020

Animal care in France and India: comparative insights

A workshop organized by the French Institute of Pondicherry in coordination with Universities of :Paris-Marne la Vallée /Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne / Paris Est-Créteil.

FEBRUARY 9, 2020

Nature drawing and walk around the Kanagan lake

This urban “tank” is under study by the WaterPondi project funded by the Region Centre-Val de Loire as well by the AFD-RUSE project. This event, organized with the Kanagan Eri Welfare Association, brought together about 70 children of various schools in Pondicherry who drew the scenery with their own eyes. Some research analysis shall be carried out from these drawings for understanding nature representation and finding new raisons d’être for this threatened water body. The drawings shall be later exhibited at IFP. Botanical information was provided along the collective walk that was enthusiastically led by the Lieutnant-Governor, Dr. Kiran Bedi.

FEBRUARY 7, 2020

De l'assassinat d’Indira Gandhi à l’écotourisme : Itinéraires de l’Inde 1984-2020

Frédéric Landy

The first time F. Landy came to India, it was the day of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, in 1984. India changed a lot since then! But some continuity and permanence must also be highlighted, such as the importance of rurality, the informal sector or kinship identity. This talk investigates, through a geographer's personal itinerary from research on agriculture to slums, protected areas and ecotourism, to which extent these continuities are negative factors or, on the contrary, can be the basis of new models that developed countries could follow.

FEBRUARY 4, 2020

Book Launch: "Pondicherry: a Social and Political History" by Former Justice David Annoussamy

India is experiencing a sharp increase in the level of income inequality in the recent period, reaching levels never observed since the beginning of the century. While past policies have an effect on poverty and inequality levels, how do researchers evaluate rigorously these impacts? The lecture described current debates on impact evaluation methods for developing countries, especially in India, and highlighted recent scientific results about the effect of the shock of Indian demonetization in 2016 on the vulnerability of rural Tamil populations.

FEBRUARY 2, 2020

World Wetlands Day - Photography Contest 2020

As part of the fifth Pondicherry Heritage Festival 2020 and World Wetlands Day 2020, a free photographic competition has been organized by the French Institute of Pondicherry, open to all, on the theme of Wetlands and Climate Change in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Union Territory. It aims to raise public awareness of the rich cultural and natural heritage values of regional wetlands. The Inaugural Function and award ceremony of the WETLAND PHOTO CONTEST 2020 was held on February 2, 2020 at 11:00 A.M at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), 11, Saint Louis Street.

Shri. M. KANDASAMY, Hon'ble Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Government of Puducherry inaugurated the function and handovered the prizes for the winners of the Photo contest.


The Commentary Idioms of the Tamil Learned Traditions. Edited by Suganya Anandakichenin and Victor D’Avella. Collection Indologie n° 141 / NETamil Series n° 5, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient / Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2020, iv, 603 p. Language: English, Tamil.  Rs.1000 (43 EUR). ISBN: 978-81-8470-232-3 (IFP) / 978-2-85539-236-3 (EFEO).

Pondicherry: A Social and Political History. by David Annoussamy, Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2020, iv, 218 p. Language: English. Rs 700 (28 EUR). ISBN: 978-81-8470-235-4

Special Issue
Martin, Nicolas and David Picherit (ed.), 2019. Introduction. Electoral Fraud and Manipulation in South Asia, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics.
Free access:

Edited Volume
Agier, Michel, Carolina Kobelinsky, David Picherit (dir.), 2019. Multitudes migrantes, Monde Commun n°3, Presses Universitaires de France.

Bentz, Anne-Sophie et Goreau-Ponceaud Anthony. "To be or not to be a refugee? Reflections on refugeehood and citizenship among Sri Lankan Tamils in India", Citizenship Studies,

Goreau-Ponceaud, Anthony. Dans l'Inde de Modi, les réfugiés sri-lankais craignent pour leur avenir, The Conversation, 20 décembre 2019,

Goreau-Ponceaud, Anthony. Le jour où l'Inde a fermé ses portes aux Musulmans, The Conversation, 12 décembre 2019,

Laroche, Fabien, Cyrille Violle, Adrien Taudière, et François Munoz. 2020. « Analyzing snapshot diversity patterns with the Neutral Theory can show functional groups’ effects on community assembly ». Ecology n/a (n/a): e02977.

Osuri A.M., Ayyappan N., Pelissier R., Ramesh B.R. and [et al.], 2020. Tree diversity and carbon storage cobenefits in tropical human-dominated landscapes, Conservation Letters: e12699, DOI : 10.1111/conl.12699, URL:

Picherit, D. 2019. Circuler pour faire migrer. In Agier, Michel, Carolina Kobelinsky, et David Picherit (dir.), Multitudes migrantes - Monde Commun 3, PUF, pp.34-51.

Picherit, D. 2019. ‘Elections will notchange anything. But they can change My life’. Manipulation of the electoral process and self-making of small politicians in Andhra Pradesh, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, DOI: 10.1080/14662043.2020.1700020

Picherit, D. 2019. Smuggling red sanders, violence and electoral democracy in South India. In Harriss-White, Barbara and Michelutti, Lucia (Eds), The Wild East. Criminal Political Economies Across South Asia. London: UCL Press. pp.194-214.
Free access:

Picherit, D. 2019. Violences politiques et démocratie en Inde du sud : Une ethnographie des hommes de main Dalit de politiciens mafieux. In Absi, Pascale, Françoise Bourdarias et Isabelle Guérin (eds), Figures anthropologiques de la domination. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Subbarayalu Y., 2019. Forced labour and peassantry in medieval Tamil Nadu : 900-1300 CE, In: Bahirabi Prasad Sahu and Kesavan V. (eds), Histroy and theory : the study of stare, institutions and the making of history, Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi, p. 204-220, ISBN: 978-93-5287-464-4.

The IFP, a research institute, is accessible to all for visits: Permanent exhibition and Library. Public visiting time - 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Organisation of events and conferences (scientific /corporate) are subject to conditions. Please contact: