“Our history may be shared but the experience and memory may not be shared. When we use the word shared values, from an Indian perspective we would like to arrive at them through conversation.” – This is how Sanjeev Sanyal, Economic Advisor, Government of India, set the tone for the “UK-India Together: Opportunities for Collaboration Within Creative Industries” panel at the inaugural session of UK-India Week 2022 in London.
Organised by the UK-headquartered India Global Forum (IGF), the week kicked off with a creative session reflecting this year’s theme of Reimagine@75 – a celebration of 75 years of UK-India relations. The highlights of the opening seminar in London, “Creative Industries and Cultural Economy”, included a range of discussions, in-depth conversations and a screening associated with British Council’s ‘India/UK Together Season of Culture’, marking the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
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Professor Manoj Ladwa, Founder and CEO of IGF, said: "While we naturally focus on 75 years of India's Independence, it is also an opportune moment to celebrate 75 years of a modern, vibrant and increasingly forward-looking relationship between the UK and India.
“At the core of this relationship lies our deep and varied cultural ties. They are in many ways the real heartbeat of this winning partnership. I am therefore thrilled that we commence UK-India Week 2022 with a Seminar focussed on the multitude of opportunities in the cultural arena."
Exploring themes such as UK-India Together: Opportunities for Collaboration Within Creative Industries, Building Sustainable Communities and Public-Private Partnerships in the Cultural Sector, the seminar hosted at the Nehru Centre in London brought together leading voices and experts active within the UK-India cultural sphere.
Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman and Founder, Serendipity Arts Foundation said: “People are the only asset we have that appreciates with time. Culture has the amazing ability to absorb and a magical quality. Hence, it’s important to constantly adapt.
“India has the richest heritage to offer the world. It is important to ensure our arts and crafts can stand the test of time.
“The message for all our companies is the same: try to be fair to all the people, all the time and build scale with impact.”
While Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe declared “the sky is the limit for UK-India collaboration in the cultural sphere”, Rebecca Simor – Director, Festivals and Seasons at British Council, expressed the organisation’s focus on supporting such collaborations in the creative industries as “we celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence”.
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Amish Tripathi, Director, Nehru Centre, said: “There are already relatively strong cultural bonds between the UK and India. Movies, books, performing arts, and various other creative industries in both countries have successfully built this. The Indian diaspora in the UK, a living bridge between our two countries, has also played a sterling role.
“But I believe that we have only scratched the surface in our partnership. India has a continental scale market, and a deep diversity and unmatched traditions in its cultural products as the only pre-bronze age civilisation that is still alive. The UK on the other hand, is at the heart of the Anglosphere that dominates the cultural scenario in the modern world. India and the UK together, could create a cultural paradigm that could deeply and positively impact the entire world for decades to come.”
The UK-India Week is organised by IGF annually as a celebration of the myriad facets of this important bilateral relationship. The 2022 edition (27 June to 1 July) comes packed with a high-powered agenda, covering trade and economic exchanges, climate action, healthcare, technology, innovation and much more.