Delegates on IndiEarth XChange 2013
Bring together individuals from different corners of the planet who perhaps have never met before, but who share a common passion for independent art in all its colourful diversity – and a shared vision for its future. This was the idea behind the IndiEarth XChange.
This past edition brought together forward thinking delegates from different sectors of the independent arts industry with the aim of creating an understanding of different markets, and building vital bridges between the Indian and international independent music, film and media communities. The entire conference opened with a discussion on this between Sonya Mazumdar – CEO/founder EarthSync – and Ankur Malhotra – cofounder of Amarass Records (IN/USA). “We need more opportunities for engagement and interaction such as IndiEarth XChange”, said Ankur, “where artists, media, industry folks can meet/discuss/exchange ideas and get the conversations started to create”.
To further encourage this dialogue, the XChange also featured a series of conferences and panel discussions. Independent programmers Christian Allex (FR) and Jody Ackland (IE) shared their views on approaching independent programming, outlining two very different trends – the commercial programme and the cultural programme. When asked about her views regarding the future of the Indian music market, Jody had this to say:
“With regional cooperation and the new trade agreements across Asia and Australia, I believe we are about to see a shift in the orientation of the market which will naturally bring international media and investment. Willingness for local collaboration and transparency is where it starts and IndiEarth XChange is offering this space”.
Dialogue between different music markets and ‘exchanging notes’ on different models for different parts of the world was also on the XChange agenda. The panel discussion Growing the Space – Venues – touched upon current venue models in Europe and ways to adapt these to the Indian context, and provided a space where the challenges and possible solutions could be openly addressed and discussed. “Running a venue isn’t an easy task – especially when you are not catering to the typical urban ears”, said Vishwaraj Mohan, Venue Owner of Counter Culture in Bangalore (IN), “There are times when one feels alone in this. It’s really great what the XChange is doing, bringing hope to an absolutely nonexistent independent arts industry and making sure each of us in the system at least hear each other out”.
Some of these discussions and exchanges led to concrete ideas from different delegates on ways to take cross cultural collaborations forward. “For me personally, IndiEarth XChange was a magic moment, a source of inspiration and food for thought”, said Cultural Cooperation expert Christoph Pelzer (MU), “the opportunity to see independent music and film from India and to meet with other guests from the Indian Ocean and the wider world is quite unique. If you take for example the discussions we have been deepening over the last two editions on how India and the French decentralised cooperation can come together and formulate projects in pursuit of mutual benefit”.
The XChange also invited delegates to share their practical skills and knowledge through hands on workshops. The Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music conducted two workshops by leading musicians Prasanna (IN) and Ed DeGenaro (DE) – both of which were well received by the public. “The IndiEarth Xchange this year was well organized and a pleasure to be at”, said Shyam Rao (IN), Vice President, Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, “From the diverse acts, informative workshops and panel discussions, things flowed really well”.
In addition to being coloured by a series of incredibly talented artists and musicians, the XChange was also attended by media from around the world, and individuals on the lookout for new talent – including artist manager Brian Dubb (AU). “IndiEarth Exchange 2013 was an incredible few days that gave me a glimpse of the underwater tsunami of independent expression traversing India today”, said Brian, “New sounds, new people and new insights. Get there before it gets too big”.
“I attend a lot of events that are similar in idea, but IndiEarth XChange is something special”, said Israel Wysinger, DJ/Media (AU), “The organisers, delegates and artists are all approachable and down to earth. You leave feeling richer for having attended. It’s an event that I will attend and participate in for a long time”.
In coming editions, we hope to see even more members of the independent arts, music and film industries coming together so something greater can be created, and even more audience involvement in local independent music and film scenes. If you attended XChange, send us your feedback, thoughts, or even what you are looking forward to at the next IndiEarth XChange to firstname.lastname@example.org!