Anmol Vellani

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anxiety, globalisation, imagination, multi-culturalism, Patriotism, spirituality
Performing Arts (theatre)
Written and spoken word (chronicle, public speaking)
Asia, Southern and Central
created on:
July 3, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since September 22, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Anmol Vellani
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A heart that beats for art

Anmol Vellani is an Indian philosopher, actor and theatre director, who is now the executive director of IFA - Indian Foundation for Art.
The Indian philosopher and artist, Anmol Vellani, incarnates a fruitful mixture of spirit, soul and body.

Anmol Vellani used to be an actor, today he is director of an art foundation, which funds alternative art projects in India.

Anmol Vellani knows how to build a case, pitch his voice, and modulate a conversation. And, because he directs plays, he knows how to use body language, sustain eye contact, and break up his answers into digestible quotes.

With his broad artistic background Vellani is now performing the art of giving - as director of IFA - Indian Foundation of Arts - which support experimenting art projects. IFA has supported more than 100 projects across 17 states.

IFA is claimed to be the country´s first independent and professionally-managed grant-making organisation for the arts. It is headquartered in Bangalore and it began functioning from 1993.

IFA is currently supporting digital art as well as a co-operation between a visual artist and an activist/writer towards integrating art, research and activism around the issue of communalism in the wake of the Gujarat riots.

Before joining IFA, Anmol worked at the Ford Foundation, holding responsibility for grant making in the performing arts, folklore and philosophy in South Asia.

Anmol Vellani has been invited to speak on the arts and religion, corporate patronage, the role of foundations and multiculturalism at conferences and seminars around the world.

Vellani is very concerned with culture meetings and how we imagine other cultures. He argues, that we often demonise what is unfamiliar and unknown to us. Because of fear we tend to close ourselves in a narrow nationalism, that seeks to suppress the little traditions, the markers of diversity within.

Vellani is occupied with how we resist the worst effects and fears of globalisation, and how we build coalitions to secure cultural diversity.

He calls for projects that takes responsibility for alternative image making - images that are inclusive rather than divisive, liberating rather than shackling.

"Images of Asia (Denmark/2003), I believe, challenges us to recover our capacity to truly look, to truly listen, to truly feel another pulse, uninterrupted by our own noise", he says.

Anmol has served in an advisory capacity for exchange programmes, donor agencies, national and international networks, government departments and television channels.
Author: Karin Bergquist


Anmol Vellani studied philosophy at the Universities of Poona, Oxford and Cambridge, and lectured at Elphinstone College, Mumbai, during the 1970s.

Anmol Vellani, philospher, actor and director, is the executive director of the India Foundation for the Arts.

He has been active as a theatre director for the last 30 years.

In an advisory capacity, he currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, New Delhi; the Executive Committee of Conference of Asian Foundations and Organizations (CAFO) ; and the Coordination Committee of the Archives Resource Community, India.



Production / Performance,


Production / Performance,
Generating image upon image to link different levels of Indian reality in wholly surprising ways, "England" imparts a complex experience of India´s failure to liberate herself from the past. Yet, for the victims of the choices India has made, it is only the resilience of their tradition that offers the hope of liberation and a source of strength to transform their lives...


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)

Asian Comments

(19 September 02 - 21 September 02)


India Foundation for the Arts

Anmol Vellani is the Executive Director of India Foundation for the Arts.