Indy Hunjan is founder and director of KALA PHOOL, a ground breaking arts development agency committed to developing, supporting, creative innovation, culturally diverse arts and artists.
Over the last 14 years Indy has emerged to become one of the UK’s most exciting arts producers, leading flagship projects such as Rising Styles, the UK’s only dedicated annual international festival of Hip Hop culture, which has since gone on to global success with each year this hip hop festival attracting an audience in excess of 25,000, and creating innovative international touring projects such as Mother India 21st Century Remix (MI21).
Indy’s eclectic cultural tastes were forged growing up listening to everything from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Michael Jackson, from Run DMC to Kate Bush. Going on to study visual arts and culture, Indy started to connect with a deeper understanding of her own ‘outsider’ experience as a woman, and as a natural agitator and rebel finding particular resonances in the work on Frida Kahlo, Horace Ove and Egon Schiele.
It’s this deep understanding of the outsider experience that heavily influences Indy work today, ensuring that Kala Phool’s vision is led by a need to be inclusive and accessible, whilst at the same time recognizing art’s ability to move people and drive change.
Always willing to push the boundaries, Indy’s approach to a project is to think about how it will make a difference and genuinely excite. Highlights have included; producing the UK’s largest ever Graffiti Jam, with 300 graffiti-writers from 27 countries, the largest annual release of underground UK Hip Hop (30,000 CDs of new music) and creating the UK’s first ever exhibition of Graffiti Sculpture that included a unique commission by New York legend Mare 139.
Her current project: the stunning live film soundtrack performance ‘Mother India 21st Century Remix’ (aka MI21), is the realization of a long held personal ambition. Going right to the core the project remixes, re-edits and re-imagines the iconic 1957 early Indian film, Mother India, producing an innovative and extremely moving performance that incorporates South Asian classical music, electronica, jazz and world music. Composed by 3 time ITF and DMC scratch champion, DJ Tigerstyle, MI21 has been a labour of love and in 2009 completed a coveted sell out UK tour. MI21 has toured across the globe during 2010, 2011 and continues to do so in 2012 supported by a range of funders and sponsors.
Indy believes in honesty when it comes to supporting artists, developing creative ideas and cementing strong working relationships. Advocacy and an entrepreneurial spirit are central to her working philosophy and practice, and she has shared her knowledge and skills on a number of boards in the UK . Indy is regularly called on to deliver talks and participates in events for business and creative industries and community-focused conferences.
Indy’s work has been recognized and rewarded with many grants, funding and personal development funding to further her unique style of working. With this vast support Indy continues to connect with international partners, venues and festivals to extend and share her knowledge and experience. Indy’s achievements have also been recognized through the Woman 2 Watch 2010 list from Arts Council England’s Cultural Leadership Programme, highlighting the top 50 creative and cultural women from the UK, and as a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society Arts).
What matters to Indy is a fierce blend of pragmatism and passion, coming together to make things happen. She is a creative force to be reckoned with.