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When We Met Nikhil Taneja

The below piece about When We Met Podcast is written by Shubhangi Singh and you can connect with her on Instagram for any questions or to share your opinion about the piece. You can also listen to When We Met podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Hubhopper, Gaana, Anchor or any other podcast app or even watch it on Platform For Artists's YouTube channel.

“In the world which we are living in, everyone has something to say but no one wants to listen” says Nikhil Taneja, the Co-founder and CEO of Yuvaa, a purpose-driven youth media, research and impact organisation. YUVAA works upon initiating and creating content about Indian Youth, Mental Health and Gender sensitivity. Nikhil Taneja is also the Festival Creative Director of India Film Project.

We at Platform For Artists have always believed in building a community which is inclusive and is being heard by others through encouraging them into being an independent artist.

In this week's episode of When We Met podcast, we speak to Nikhil Taneja to know about Mental Health, the importance of community building and how it impacts the people you build a space with.

While his time at teaching and mentoring students he found a lot of meaningful conversations with them which made him realise the need to give a platform for the youth to be heard and have a voice from where YUVAA started.

A community of different culture and people

Nikhil Taneja adds “We are not building an audience for a company, we are building a community which makes each other feel heard and connects with an intimacy”.

When we started UNSEEN, an online flea market, small business owners across the country from different states and cultures came together to support artists and their businesses. A country such as India which is immensely diverse in its nature, it is important that you listen to your community and let them share their stories.

YUVAA for its pan – India roadshow travelled to more than 100 colleges in 35 cities to listen to the young India share their life stories on mental health, gender biases and many more.

In one of their latest spoken word poems titled as ‘Main Hoon Yuvaa’, they shared what Gen Z feels about mental health in which they voiced upon “The young India is lonelier than ever before and they feel disconnected in this era of connectivity because nobody is listening to them.”

The magic of online networking and virtual festivals

As human beings we are social animals who crave for meaningful connections and human touch but unfortunately being in this new normal, we can’t go out in festivals, open mics and events to meet people from different backgrounds. But should we stop here? Should we not find a way to connect and build networks during this time? You don’t need to hold yourself back when we all have the power of the internet. Being born in the internet era, I know for a fact that building a network has never been easier.

Platform For Artists hosted two networking meetups on Airmeet, a virtual networking platform for our community members and small businesses. “I just wanted to interact with new artists and make some friends which was successfully done. It’s necessary to have artists around you to understand new ideas and explore different perspectives which I lost during the lockdown” said one of our community members who attended the networking event.

This time, similarly, India Film Project launched their annual festival online and Nikhil Taneja enlightened us with how it was different this year than the other last seasons. He told us that because of the pandemic people have also gone into exhaustion being on the virtual platforms consistently so we wanted to hold meaningful and value driven conversations at our festival. “When we were thinking of whom to invite, we made sure that the people we are inviting are going to be the people who we want to be seen amongst our community without emphasising much on how famous they are or should be” he added.

You can listen to the full episode with Nikhil Taneja on the When We Met podcast by Platform For Artists on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Hubhopper, Gaana, Anchor or any other podcast app or even watch it on Platform For Artists's YouTube channel.

For any questions or suggestions please feel free to write to us on hello@pfaindia.com

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