Image credit — Kajal Nisha Patel

Faith & Gender-Cultural Exchanges Festival


This year I am delighted to have been invited as Guest Curator with Cultural eXchanges Festival. This is also a first for the Annual Art Festival hosted annually by De Montfort University. I’m have been fortunate to gain partnership with #DMU Pride and the Cultural Quarter’s hub -LCB Depot . But I should say this not my first Festival rodeo…

BUT FIRST ! I am itching* to tell you what I have planned!!!

What does it means to be BROWN in Britain today? She He They: BROWNESS is a mini programme curation focusing on two very different practices of Brownness, one situated in the body and the other in belief.

For this year’s Cultural Exchanges festival I’m very excited to welcome In conversation Chanda Vyas, the first female Hindu priest in the UK and Soofiya, artist and illustrator who articulates commentaries on race, gender and non-conformity. Soofiya will present a newly commissioned work especially for the festival.’ 

TUE 26TH FEB        6PM- 7.30PM      LCB Depot    FB PAGE

Chanda Vyas – Faith and Gender The UK’s First Female Hindu Priest

Talk + Q&A

Based in Leicester, Chanda Vyas is the first female Hindu priest in the UK. She is known for having officiated a same sex Hindu marriage ceremony for a Leicester resident and Jewish-born Texan.  What did the role of the Hindu woman play in her journey to priesthood- a position traditionally reserved for Brahmin men (priestly cast)? How does she negotiate tradition, change and the politics of gender in the face of love?  Join Chanda ‘in conversation’ followed by a Q&A.

FREE / pay what you think on the night


THU 28TH FEB 6.30PM- 8PM      LCB Depot    FB PAGE

Hairy Femmes Forever- Meet SOOF!

Print Launch + Talk + Q&A

Artist and illustrator Soofiya has a portfolio that boasts a LDN WMN commission with Tate and the Mayor of London, and a client list including Vice, The V&A, The Photographers Gallery, Gal-dem and BBC Radio 4 amongst others.  For this year’s festival I have commissioned Soofiya  to create a new large scale work for projection and print.

Soofiya’s Vision ‘’The illustration aims to celebrate body hair as a part of femininity and gender non-conformity. An ode to all non-conforming bodies whilst honouring all those who exist on the margins’. 

Join Soofiya for a presentation, conversation and Q&A on their work.

FREE / pay what you think on the night


24TH FEB – 1ST MARCH 2019           Ramada Encore, Leicester        FB PAGE

Hairy Femmes Forever Large Scale PROJECTION 


For the 2018 edition of the festival I broke the mould and brought a unique event to Cultural eXchanges – Breaking Bread  a  creative, colourful and nourishing dinner to hatch plans and take over the world! An Invitation to LGBTQ + and POC folk to come together over dinner at the Secular Hall.  Here we hosted the exchange of dialogues on identity, community and futures but mostly we were breaking bread and eating together.

THIS YEAR I continue to expand the programme off site in the City Community.

Thanks to the Partners and their part in making these events happen!: DMU Cultural Exchanges Festival, DMU Pride and LCB Depot