Meet the team

Meet the team behind the India-UK Creative Industries at 75: Opportunities and Challenges project and learn more about the collaborating artists.

Research team

Meet the research team
Dr Rajinder Dudrah  

Dr Rajinder Dudrah is Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries and served as the Interim Associate Dean for Research, Innovation and Enterprise in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University (2021-22). He has also served as the University's AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership Site Director, led the Creative Industries Research Cluster, and founded the Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (CEDIA) acting as its first Director.

Rajinder is recipient of the prestigious Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2022-2025), working on his new book project 'E-Bollywood: Popular Hindi Cinema in the Age of New Media'. 

Rajinder is Principal Investigator on the AHRC and Innovate UK funded project 'India-UK Creative Industries at 75: Challenges and Opportunities' (Feb - Oct 2022). He is working with the PGDAV College, University of Delhi, India, and 30 artists from India and the UK across the creative economies of screen industries, live performance and fashion.  

Dr Julia Szivak 

Dr Julia Szivak is currently Assistant Research Fellow at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary. She recently completed her PhD in Media and Cultural Studies at Birmingham City University. Her doctoral research looked at the transnational connections of South Asian popular music, with a focus on the British Asian music scene and the Indian music industries, especially the Bollywood and the Punjabi music markets. Her other research interests include South Asian popular culture, mainly Bollywood cinema and popular music.

Dr Vishal Chauhan  

Dr Vishal Chauhan is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, PGDAV College, University of Delhi. He completed his PhD in the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies Research at Birmingham City University titled ‘Decoding Dalit Representation in Popular Hindi Cinema: 1930s-2010s’. He is interested in the dynamics of power, its linkages with the culture at large and identity formation, and issues of representation in popular Hindi cinema.

Collaborating artists

Sweta Kumari  

With over 19 years of experience in the fashion industry, I have donned a variety of hats: from working in the industry to an academician to the Head of Department, Manager, and an experienced trainer with an active social engagement in the design sector.

As part of FDDI (Ministry of Commerce, An Institute of National Importance), I have worked in close collaboration with government bodies such as ODOP, LSSC, Invest India and Skill Development.

I have been at the helm of 2 projects aimed at reviving of local crafts by modernizing the traditional skill set, and using concepts of sustainability in design.

Anisha Parmar  

Anisha is a globally successful jewellery designer and multi-disciplinary artist based in Derby, UK. Her work is inspired by her own diaspora heritage that spans three countries on three continents (Gujarat in India, East Africa and Britain), and the gold jewellery pieces that have been collected along her family’s migrant journey. Her designs bring the concept of the heirloom into today. At the heart of Anisha's brand one thing remains constant: she believes in the power of wearing her culture and stories in a way that will uplift and empower.

Dr Bharti Parmar  

Dr Parmar is a UK artist and academic with a practice of 30 years. Bharti studied Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art and has a PhD in material culture studies.

Bharti’s interests include vernacular crafts and systems and her studio output ranges from print, photographic installation, sculpture to embroidery. The highlight of 2021 was Khadi, a major solo exhibition at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery about Gandhi, cotton and Indian Independence as part of the British Textile Biennial 2021.

She is co-editor of Colour, Vol. 4 of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles and sits on Arts Council England Museums Designation Panel. Her work is represented in numerous institutional collections such as the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Government Art Collection.

Caroline Raybould   

Caroline worked as a commercial fashion knitwear designer for 20 years in Italy, the USA and the UK for numerous high street and designer brands. Her commercial background is counterbalanced with an interest in craft, textiles and culture.

She has lectured for eight years on the Fashion Business and Promotion BA, with a focus in teaching and research into sustainable practice. She is interested in investigating how we can create preferable, ecological futures individually and collectively, and has recently been exploring the concept of ‘designing with nature’.

Her current creative practice uses video, publications and textiles.

Gargi Kuchehria  

Gargi founded Kilometre India with her brother, Mudit, in 2017. The aim of Kilometre is to work towards health and education for artisans and create employment and livelihood for their family members, making them self-sufficient in their own village. With Kilometre India, Gargi and her brother are trying to bridge the gap between rural and urban styles of clothing. Every garment made at Kilometre India has a unique story attached to it which makes it rare and beautiful.

Jasbir Kaur

Jasbir Kaur is Director of Postgraduate Studies in Fashion and Textiles. She has extensive experience in commercial textile design and fashion research. With over 20 years experience as an academic, she is an internationally published author in the area of textiles, and the interrelationship between that and fashion.

Her current research focus is the modernisation and professionalisation of the Indian fashion industry in India and amongst the Indian diaspora in the WestIndia has gone from having no big retail culture, little fashion media output, and no celebrity designer culture to something resembling a complete model of a fashion industry in a relatively short span of time. Jasbir has spoken about her research interests internationally.

Priyanshi Singhal

Priyanshi is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Textiles and Surface Design from Birmingham City University. She studied her BA in Textile Design from NFT, Kangra. She is very passionate about textiles, fashion and styling. She has a good knowledge of sketching and creating design prints and patterns, inclusive of different textures and colours. She has hands-on experience in handloom weaving techniques and surface manipulation techniques. 

Mala Sinha    

Mala superannuated in 2020 from the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi as Professor of Organizational Behavior and Communication. Post the academic innings, she created Buna’wat, which is a group of women who meet regularly to weave magic through knitting and crochet work. The women are from the less privileged class and Buna’wat gives them a platform to inculcate quality in their craft, learn new techniques and showcase their work to the discerning clientele.

Buna’wat experiments with wool, cotton, silk and organic yarns to craft chic and elegant wear and home linen, and is devoted to the cause of reviving and mainstreaming handcraft through needles and yarns. Mala is also a published poet, writer of short stories, and painter.

Vaishali Verma  

Vaishali is currently pursuing a Master's in Textile & Surface design from Birmingham City University. Previously, she studied a bachelor's in Textile design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India.

Her expressions come from absorbing ideas from the surroundings and creating them into unique concepts. She has a mixed media approach to making surfaces and likes to experiment with different materials and techniques. The very thing about textiles and design is that it’s many things but never boring.

Screen Industries
Indy Hunjan  

Indy is the founder of Kala Phool, a collaborative studio which develops and delivers a range of projects which take place domestically and internationally. Working in partnership for a mutual outcome is rooted in her work to bring equality of access to all.

With over 30 years experience across the arts and creative industries, and with most of her work under the banner of Kala Phool, she has been involved in many projects which have seen her hone her skills as a project manager, advocate, mentor and supporter of incubating ideas.

Indy has worked extensively with marginalised creative communities (Mela, Hip Hop) in the UK seeing them thrive from her provocations and advocacy.

Indy’s most recent work has been with the National Trust, working across the contemporary art programme, exploring new ways of working and challenging the cultural structures in place. She has presented work across the globe whilst remaining as free of rigid systems and structures as possible.

Nakul Singh Sawhney   

Nakul is an independent documentary filmmaker based in India. His films focus on religious sectarianism, human rights, and social justice in South Asia.

He won the Indian Documentary Producers' Association (IDPA) Silver Award as Best Director for his feature-length film 'Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai/Muzaffarnagar Eventually'. The film explored the impact of religious sectarian violence on the Indian General Elections in 2014. As a result, Nakul faced physical attacks and several threats to his work. His other films, including 'Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour' and 'Savitri's Sisters' have been screened globally. Nakul is also a founder of an award-winning film and media collective in rural North India called ChalChitra Abhiyaan / Moving Images Campaign. It takes international cinema to the hinterlands and trains the marginalised communities to make their own films. He also teaches filmmaking and film appreciation.

Currently, Nakul is making a film on the recently concluded farmers' movement in India.

Raveeta Banger

Raveeta Banger is a writer, documentary filmmaker, creative arts researcher and playwright working freelance in the creative industries. Through the creative work undertaken, topics addressing the arts and culture, screen studies, race, caste, identity, mental health and feminist issues specific to Black and Asian women are explored throughout her work. She completed a BA (Hons) in Film and Media at De Montfort University, Leicester, and a MA in Film and Television: Research and Production at the University of Birmingham. You can follow Raveeta’s work at @raveetawrites on Twitter and Instagram.  

 Amar Kate

I am a Creative Producer, Director, Editor & Marketing Strategist who works in the creative industry as a freelancer. I have a Bachelors Of Skills Degree in Mass Communication majoring in Audio-Visual Production from Symbiosis International University. Having about 5 years of experience In this industry, from working as an intern on the set, to managing the lighting department, the sound team and the camera department, to directing my first ever film, thus starting my journey in this particular industry. I have come a long way to have a certain understanding of both the corporate side of the industry and the freelance world.

For my Undergraduate thesis, with Marathi being my mother tongue, I worked on the induction of Marathi cinema, it's subsequent rise and the comparison of Marathi Cinema to Mainstream Bollywood cinema. Thus, researching the likes of Dada saheb phalke, V. Shantaram, Prabhat Films, Rajkamal Kalamandir, Maharashtra Film Company, Baburao Painter etc. For my final year degree project I made a documentary about the pioneers of Underground Hip-Hop/B-Boy Dancers in India.

As of now I have a clientele spread across the sustainable development sector, the hospitality industry and the development sector to name a few. I aim to innovate the creative industry using both my skill and the technological advancements to make the audience connect to the content I create and have them engage with it more than ever.

Supriti Malhotra  

Supriti is an Assistant Professor at the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, an award-winning filmmaker and feature journalist whose multi-faceted professional experience includes profiles such as Assistant Training Manager at IBM, and Head of Content Development at Eventraveler.

Her directorial debut, Ehsaas, won Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Film awards for the 48 Hour Film Project (Mumbai) in 2009. Subsequently, Ehsaas won Best Editing at Filmapalooza, and was chosen as one of the top ten 48HFP films to be screened at the Short Film Corner during Cannes 2010.

Having made corporate films for NGO SNEHA and ACGL, she is presently involved with producing and directing the documentary, Shakti - of Science and Traditions, among other artistic pursuits.

Suprasanna N Dindigal   

Suprasanna is a Mass communications graduate, with a specialisation in the Audio-Visual field from Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC), Pune. Having a fascination with narrating stories from behind a screen, she always wanted to be a writer-director.

While writing stories, she enjoys the experience immensely and pushes herself to be more creative to make the story colourful and appealing to the spectators. The interest and passion for fiction/stories led her to choose audio-visual as her specialisation. After delving into the audio-visual field, this interest is further enhanced with the wonderful support of equipment and technology/software. Her interests also incline towards production design and photojournalism. She is an avid reader and a trained classical dancer who likes to listen and appreciate various genres of music. 

Swadhin Padhy  

Swadhin is the Academic Director at Ronkel Media Education and Research Institute, the pioneer in establishing highly effective creative education pedagogy in India. He is the recipient of the three Best Actor Awards in theatre and also the Production Head at Ronkel Brothers Production, which is known for its path-breaking projects and innovative storytelling. For the first time in the history of cinema, a road has been named after their recent film, "Road to Reform". Legendary Actor Padma Vibhushan Amitabh Bachchan and Randeep Hooda are a few of the renowned actors to have worked with the production in the past.

Pritt Kalsi  

Pritt is a multiple award-winning artist (2018 - Best Music Producer Award, 2018 - Best Documentary Award) who has been involved in the Graffiti Scene since 1984. Growing up in Birmingham, he was very quickly influenced by the spirit of the city and the hip hop scene that took it. As other music trends and cultures came and went, he stayed true to his Hip Hop roots and went to New York to search out his peers and those that pioneered this movement.

Whilst studying design, Pritt became interested in filmmaking and photography, whilst at the same time learning the ins and out of sampling and DJing, working with drum machines, old records, turntables and four track recorders. After meeting Legendary UK graffiti artist, The Artful Dodger, he was inspired to make his first film, The King of The Beats. This became an underground hit and inspired beat competitions all over the world. This led to Pritt making more films. The film Turntable Trixters about UK group ‘Hijack’ sold-out shows at London’s National Film Theatre. Returning to NYC, he worked and filmed so many of the Hip Hop greats, Marley Marl, Jazzy Jay, Main Source, Zulu Nation, DJ Premier, Leaders of the New School, and Africa Bambaata amongst others.

Through working and recording with groups including the Beatnuts and Ultramagnetic MCs, Pritt formed the King of the Beats Record Label, pressing limited edition records, sold and distributed globally. In his spare time, he paints and has also released his first series of prints, seven paintings, limited to 100 prints, originally painted with spray cans.

Neeraj Churi

Neeraj started his film production journey for the sole purpose of producing and promoting South Asian LGBTQ+ films worldwide, realizing the limited opportunities available to the community to bring their stories to the screen. Through his org, Lotus Visual Productions, he sponsors the QDrishti film grant to help aspiring filmmakers bring their LGBTQ+ scripts to screen. He has produced fiction and documentary films in India and the UK. He helps promote South Asian queer cinema by organizing theatrical screenings in the UK and curating film festivals and corporate screenings. He is an alumnus of the New York film academy.

Harkat Studio's  

Harkat is an international boutique arts studio with a passion for film, new media, community art spaces and contemporary art. Based in Mumbai and Berlin, it takes many forms and identities across disciplines and creative industries. It is an alternative performance space, a video & film production house, a film lab and an independent arts studio. 

Harkat has hosted more than 500 shows in the forms of theatre, film, music, community projects and contemporary art. We support the new, unheard, upcoming, exciting, cutting edge, the political, the forgotten, nostalgic, melancholic, soul stirring, the beautiful & more. And that's what Harkat is. A Harkat.

Live Performance
Dr Anirudh Kumar Sudhanshu    

Anirudh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hindi, Motilal Nehru College, University of Delhi and an actor-director at the Gawah Theater since 2009 at Delhi University. The group trained more than 200 students working in different parts of the Indian film and media industries. He is also associated with a weekly newspaper named Talking News and Goraul Times as an editor or chief editor, and also runs their YouTube channel.

Anirudh has been involved with delivering many online live programmes during the Coronavirus period. The theatre has successfully been running a weekly live programme since 2021 and telecasted more than 47 episodes on Hindi writers and poets. He has edited more than 25 books and has also mentored theatre groups at the different colleges and helped the students to perform and scripted many plays during his training period in different colleges.

Anirudh has more than eight years of experience in field journalism. At present, he is also the Chairperson of SAARC Journalist Forum India, a group of SAARC journalists.

Anand Chhabra  

Anand is a Founder, Director and Chair at Black Country Visual Arts and has been involved in the arts as a photographer for over 20 years. He began a full-time career as an artist, beginning as Wolverhampton’s recipient of the ‘Collide’ programme in 2005. The AHA project went on to be presented at Community Archives and Heritage Group conference, winning the award for best New Archive in the UK in 2017. 

He continues to work on photographic projects that profiles stories in ethnic communities that remain untold. At the heart of his work is people and the stories that they share. Anand continues to work on various photographic commissions and on exhibitions and in 2018, was shortlisted for the Magnum Foundation’s Photography in Collaboration: Migration and Religion. He has also been nominated for Prix Pictet 2019 for his work SUPNAA: Dreams of our Fathers.

In 2020, Historic England assigned him to document responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Midlands as part of the Picturing Lockdown documentary initiative, which focused on a total of ten regions across the UK. Anand has worked with the National Trust, Arts Council England, Worcestershire Archaeology Archives Service, British Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, GRAIN photography hub, and FORMAT FESTIVAL, Derby.

Hardeep Singh Sahota  

Hardeep is a leading authority on Bhangra, and has been one of the prominent forces in the UK delivering high quality, world-class Bhangra workshops, lectures and seminars over the last two decades. As a secondary school teacher of Art, he understands the intrinsic link between engagement, education, entertainment and the empowering properties of celebrating Bhangra.

Hardeep has accomplished a Masters-by-Research (MA) degree exploring the history of Bhangra; and has authored the much-acclaimed book, Bhangra: Mystics, Music and Migration.

Hardeep is also the creative director of VIRSA, an organisation that explores the history and heritage of Bhangra through creativity. He founded both the World Bhangra Council - a global organisation that brings together its member states to celebrate the art form of Bhangra - and World Bhangra Day; an event in which like-minded Cultural Ambassadors from around the world take part in shared global performances.

Manzil Mystics  

Manzil Mystics is a Delhi-based choir band known for their original compositions, which reflect the ideas of saint-poet Kabir Das in Indie Folk Fusion form. They are making the world re-experience the 500 years old Indian tradition of group singing/performances through their music. The 12-member strong band gives Manzil Mystics a diversity of social strata, music taste, and gender. All the income earned through the band performances goes into educating children in low-income and government schools in music education. In 2009, a few students of a Delhi-based non-profit organisation; Manzil, who come from a low-income families saw a dream of having a stage where they can sing songs of peace, unity, and harmony and take music as a profession. 

Rupinder Kaur  

Rupinder is a writer, performer and workshop facilitator. Her work often focuses on womanhood, language and history. Her debut poetry book Rooh (2018), was published with Verve Poetry Press. She was awarded a DYCP grant from Arts Council England (2020) to work on her next poetry collection.

Rupinder has also been a BBC New Creative and developed an audio piece, The Girls that Hide and Seek (2021). She is currently working on her one-woman show - Imperfect, Perfect Woman, which debuted at Wolverhampton Literature Festival. She is also currently part of the Kali Theatre Discovery program (2021-2022).

Sangini Kumar

Sangini is an Odissi exponent, and a senior disciple of Padmashri Guru Smt Kiran Segal. She is Empanelled with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). She has received the Sahitya Kala Parishad (SKP) Scholarship for Advanced Training/Excellence in Dance and performed at the Sopan Festival for Young Dancers organised by SKP upon completion of the Scholarship period. She has had the opportunity to be a part of both international performances (notably, an ICCR sponsored trip to China to commemorate India's 66th Republic Day), and several national performances (such as: “Celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – An Evening of Dance and Music” organised by ICCR MEA at the Purana Qila, Opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Kumbhalgarh fort Festival, Youth Festival for CWG, Kumbh Festival Ujjain, Virasat Festival Dehradun, Neemrana Fort Festival, among others). She has also accompanied her Guru in several SPICMACAY and CCRT programs and Lecture Demonstrations.

She has been a part of not just pure Odissi choreographies, but also several contemporary Odissi choreographies of her Guru such as - Ramayana (where the roles of Ravan, Lakshman and Manthra were played by her), Divyanamaskar - a composition of pieces based on Guru Rabindranath Tagore's poems (where she plays the central character of the "Ekla" in Ekla Chalo Re), Agni- The Fire Within, and Taalangya.

Apart from her artistic leanings, Sangini is also an Economics Grad from Lady Shri Ram College for Women (University of Delhi), with a Masters Degree from the Delhi School of Economics (University of Delhi). She is currently working as a Corporate Banking Professional.

Saurav Sharma  

Saurav is a Delhi based artist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer. With a natural talent for song writing and composition, he has been into live performance since 2010 where he performed at events like IIT-Delhi Rendezvous, Delhi Poetry Festival, Ministry of Culture-Government of India, and Underground Festival-Uttarakhand.

In 2012, Saurav started learning Hindustani classical from Smt. Deepa Sinha who helped him explore the rich tradition of Hindustani music. Currently, he is creating music with an electronic band 'Sound Valley Projekt', where he is experimenting with future music with traditional Indian sounds.

Jagdis Kumar  

I have 14 years of experience working as an Artistic Director of Dance Sansaar where we work across Punjabi folk dances, including bhangra and giddha. I enjoy working with people from different learning stages and from diverse backgrounds and I have been involved in a number of creative projects. One of these, the Lawk Naach project, was a huge undertaking for our organization but it proved to be a major success for us, achieving the accolade of the ‘West Midlands Largest Cultural Olympiad Dance Project’. We involved over 30,000 participants who engaged directly in dance activity and an overwhelming audience of 141,579. This project gave me the experience of project administration and promotion, as well as experience of collecting outcomes for project evaluation, data analysis and preparing a final report to the Arts Council. As part of this project, I also designed and facilitated the training and development of 12 Dance Artists, 8 of whom had never delivered this style of folk dance before. I also offered 1 to 1 and group feedback sessions.

I have a passion for lifelong learning, and my view is that it's never too late to learn and develop, no matter at what stage you are within your life.

Regardless of a person's physical, social or mental condition, I feel that inclusion for all is important. I am a strong advocate for using the creative medium to break down barriers within communities, education and the corporate sector in order to encourage social change and promote justice.

Sarthak Pawar  

Sarthak is an audio engineer, music producer and owns a studio called Indilab studios. With no musical background Sarthak picked up his first instrument "guitars" at the age of 18. In the beginning Sarthak was into music as an artist but eventually he got interested in the sound aspect of the music like producing and mixing. Sarthak has produced various artists like Abdon mech, Souma, Maram, Joy fak, Romeo kisike, TIG.PROD etc

He is also involved in an electronic duo with Saurav Sharma called SOUND VALLEY PROJEKT. Sarthak has worked in web series called "pandora parambil" and "Toofan mail". According to Sarthak it was the best decision to leave everything and pursue music and audio production. Sarthak is now in the progress of launching his first instrumental album by the end of 2022.