Judges



Rachel Harris
Creative Producer
Southbank Centre

Rachel is the Creative Producer, Festival Development at Southbank Centre and has a leading role in creating programmes designed to involve the widest communities in Southbank Centre’s work. She leads on a number of festival initiatives which integrate artistic ambition with social impact and to reach beyond London to develop national and international connections. Rachel curates Alchemy, an annual 11 day international festival exploring the creative relationship between the UK and the Indian subcontinent presented across Southbank Centre’s venues and is leading China Changing, a new 3 year multi-arts festival exploring contemporary China. In 2013 she developed a collaborative festival in Salvador, Brazil using the arts to build social cohesion. 



Mira Kaushik OBE
Director
Akademi

For over twenty-five years, Mira Kaushik OBE has been Director of Akademi, whose mission is to create and nurture excellence in classical, contemporary, popular and participatory South Asian dance.  Her key successes include: Establishing a South-Asian Dance Faculty at the ISTD, a BA Hons Course at Contemporary Dance Trust, overseeing educational projects for young and older people and creating a variety of performances in unconventional sites including: Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Somerset House and a variety of outdoor spaces in and around the UK.  



Divia Patel
Senior Curator, South Asia
Asian Department
V&A Museum

Divia Patel is a Senior Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She specializes in contemporary art and design, popular culture and photography from South Asia. Most recently she co-curated the V&A’s major exhibition, The Fabric of India (2015-2016) with responsibility for the modern and contemporary content and is one of the three authors of the accompanying book. Her recent research has been on contemporary design from India which resulted in the publication of her book India Contemporary Design: Fashion, Graphics, Interiors (Roli Press, V&A 2014). In her early career she curated the exhibition Cinema India: The Art of Bollywood (2002 - 2007) which travelled nationally and international. 



Sailesh Ram

Sailesh Ram, a former editor of Eastern Eye, is the founder and editor of www.asianculturevulture.com, a website dedicated to coverage of the Asian arts scene in its many guises. A journalist by background, whose work has been published in the Independent and Observer, he is also a contributing editor to AMG's Power List and Asian Rich List.
He also writes creatively, having had a novel for teenagers published many years ago, he now has several TV and film projects bubbling away.



Amit Roy
Eastern Eye columnist

Amit Roy is one of the most experienced journalists to have covered the Asian community and writes an influential column in Eastern Eye. He has also worked as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph. 
Amit has covered wars all over the world, as well as the Iranian revolution. He has also written economic reports on India for the Daily Telegraph.



Jatinder Verma MBE
Artistic Director
Tara Arts

Artistic Director of Tara Arts, Jatinder has developed a unique cross-cultural theatre style – Binglish - where Asian theatre sensibilities meet European drama. Having led the company since its inception in 1977, Jatinder has overseen the development of Tara’s new Theatre in Earlsfield, south London as an award-winning architectural fusion of East and West. Jatinder was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in 2017. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of York, Essex and De Montfort, Leicester as well as a Research Fellowship from Rose Bruford College and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.



Kalpesh R Solanki
Managing Editor
Asian Media Group

Kalpesh is group managing editor of the Asian Media Group (AMG). Kalpesh graduated with a law degree (LLB Hons) from Queen Mary College, London, and qualified as a barrister from the Inner Temple. Kalpesh is responsible for the strategy and growth of AMG operations over three continents USA, UK and India. Asian Media & Marketing Group provides route to market services with specific focus on the Asian community.



Shailesh R Solanki
Executive Editor
Asian Media Group

Shailesh is executive editor for AMG, he has over 25 years' experience in journalism and oversees a raft of titles, including Asian Trader, Pharmacy Business, Asian Hospitality and AAHOA Lodging Business, as well as GG2, gg2.net, Eastern Eye and easterneye.eu.
As economics graduate, he has chronicled the Asian community in the UK and the US where the group publish from their base in Atlanta, Georgia.