“The standard of applicants this year was incredibly high, but Babatdor’s writing really stood out to the judging panel as exceptional. We look forward to his contributions to the rich community of creative writers and postcolonial scholars at the University of Kent, and we’ll be following his writing career with great interest!”
The Centres for Postcolonial Studies and Creative Writing have awarded the annual Charles Wallace India Trust Writing Fellowship to Babatdor Dkhar.
Since 1991, the Charles Wallace India Trust has sponsored a Fellowship at the University that enables a writer from India to come and work in Kent for the spring term. Additionally, they have the opportunity to present their work to staff and students in talks organised by Kent’s renowned Centres for Creative Writing and Postcolonial Studies.
Babatdor is a writer and filmmaker who studied Creative Writing at Oxford, has taught English in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, worked as an editor in New Delhi, and is the Founder of Ka Ktien Media and the Chief Editor of Half and One.
The Fellowship will enable Babatdor to live and work in Canterbury whilst writing his novel The Khasi Album which is set in Shillong, a town in the Northeast of India, and is a work of satire, black comedy, romance and tragedy.
As Babatdor says in his application, the novel tackles “the differences between East and West, nationalism and communalism, small-town mindsets and tribal minority sensibilities in an India that is completely different from the one that is portrayed in mainstream literature and media”.
Dr Matthew Whittle, lecturer in Postcolonial Literature and Director of the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies says, “On behalf of the Centres for Postcolonial Studies and Creative Writing, I’m delighted to welcome Babatdor as this year’s Writing Fellow, and looking forward to fostering a creative voice from an under-represented region in Indian literature such as Shillong.”