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Bangalore’s Love For Kitsch

Kitsch Mandi aims to support creative entrepreneurs by providing the right platform to showcase their products.

Kitsch Mandi is the result of two friends—Diva Ganeriwal and Laila Vaziralli’s effort to liven up the arts and culture scene in Bangalore. Capitalising on the abundant creative talent available in Bangalore, the two started this unique, colourful and fun venture to bring quirky art closer to the people, and making sure everyone has a gala time in the process.

They are now pretty kicked about their next event which will take place on September 29th. But that is just one of the things taking up this enterprising duo’s time as they have their heart set on taking Kitsch Mandi to the next level and to other cities.

When and how did you first envision Kitsch Mandi?

About 2 years ago. I (Laila) was teaching art and living in Bombay and Diva was working in Bangalore. We both wanted to do something more exciting and the idea just came about and became a reality because of friends who helped us out.

What do you think is it about Bangalore that has contributed to the success of Kitsch Mandi?

Bangaloreans are always looking for a change in entertainment. It’s a very open and welcoming city for new ideas. Also Bangalore has a big number of creative young people which is great for our festival.

How do you manage to put this event together?

We are a small festival, so its easy for us to manage our finances without compromising on quality and intimacy. We don’t have too many sponsors because we don’t want the festival to become a place for branding. We charge a basic entrance, we have a few alcohol sponsors, and we have a barter system with some magazines and media outlets.

We curate our vendors/artists. Since we only have a small number of stalls compared to other flea markets in town, we are very careful with curating and selecting artists. We make sure to pick ones that are innovative and experimental.

When you started this, did you think it’d be a financially viable economic model?

We had no clue. We just did it out of passion and luckily for us now, we are happy with the way it has turned out.

Expansion plans?

Plenty. We are planning to organize a cultural festival in Bangalore that starts on the streets and ends in a big venue. It will be a coming together of theatre, live performances, design, social and community projects, music, dance and more. We are also starting Kitsch Mandi Bombay and Pune this November.

Tell us about your team?

We have three people in total. There’s Roshnee who does all our email and organisational work. Diva takes of sponsorship and our finances. I (Laila) take care of curation, music, creatives.

Tell us one thing you would want different in Kitsch Mandi?

We would like for it to become more accessible to a larger slice of our community and not just the elite/upper middle class.

What can people expect from your next event?

Next event is on the 29th of September at Pebble, Palace Grounds. Expect an old school hippie vibe this time. Stalls selling feather earrings and lava lamps. Large dream catchers from the tree as décor. Live Music by Tribal Flora from Mumbai – a 5 piece band with didgeridoo, Kalimba, djembe and vocals.

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Diva Ganeriwal-- is from Bangalore, she studied at The Valley School, and then went on to study Maths and economics at Nottingham University, England. She has varied work experience, right from teaching Montessori at Neeve to working for a women's-only travel company.

Laila Vaziralli-- studied at The Valley School where she spent most of her time drawing and pursuing all things creative. She then went on to study art in London after which she came back to India and worked at a non profit school. She taught art, completed several photo documentary projects, and also started making and selling lamps. She currently lives in Bombay and is curating a public space art festival.