Dr Madan Meena is a practicing visual artist and a researcher working extensively with the rural, nomadic and tribal communities. His personal association with his region and its people led him to choose as his doctoral thesis ‘Art of the Meena Tribe’. Focusing on the women of the Meena tribe he has documented and exhibited their art of wall painting across the country and abroad. His work on the subject is available in his two published books ‘Joy of Creativity’ and ‘Nurturing Walls’.
As a curator, he designed an exhibition on brooms for the ‘Arna Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan’, Jodhpur. He was also Associate Director for the film ‘Jharu Katha (Broom Stories)’. His interest in folklore studies led him to work on the diverse repertoire of the Tejaji Ballad sung across central and south-eastern Rajasthan. For this he was initially supported by a grant from the University of Cambridge under the World Oral Literature Project and published a book ‘Tejaji Gatha’ and its audio DVD. Later to extend his documentation on the ballad he received a Senior Research Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. Madan is also a recipient of a Sahapedia–UNESCO Fellowship to study folklore among the Jogi community of eastern Rajasthan.
Madan’s curiosity about languages led him to start work on the secret language of the de-notified and nomadic tribes. For this he received a fellowship from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, USA. For the People’s Linguistic Survey of India project he co-edited one of the volumes ‘The Languages of Rajasthan’. He has conducted various surveys and researches on the nomadic and denotified tribes (DNTs) of north and western India.
Madan continually studies languishing craft traditions, the subject which he also teaches as a visiting faculty at some of the design institutes of India. He is a Trustee of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre-Vadodara, Executive Member of Kota Heritage Society and Executive Board Member of Gramin Shiksha Kendra-Sawai Madhopur. One of his important responsibilities currently is with the Adivasi Academy in Gujarat where he has been the Honorary Director for the last four years.