LILA is a multi-centred space. We understand as essential the simultaneous contributions of various sites of creativity, towards our destination of happiness. Our vision of leadership emphasizes non-linear development, allowing actors from different centres to interact freely and creatively. At LILA, the core team functions are in three fields: ideation, creative operations and conservation. Our team members share the work and develop interactive leadership in the areas of research, outreach and archiving.

Rizio Yohannan Raj

Founder & Executive Director

AR Harikumar

Finance Director

Adil Jamal

Consultant (Communication, Branding and Visual Identity)

Ayshath Shamah Rahmath

Content Development

Chahat Rana

Blog Editor

Latha Narayanaswamy

Coordinator : Kerala

Monica Dawar

Consultant (Photography)

Prayas Abhinav

Artist-Writer on Internet

Priya Ravish Mehra


Sunita Devi


Priya Talwar

Media Consultant

Adil Jamal: Consultant (Communication, Branding and Visual Identity)

Adil Jamal is our consultant for communication branding and visual identity. Apart from having more than two decades of advertising experience with some visible national brands, he is a keen self-taught photographer who has several solo exhibitions and published images to his credit in addition to appearing on our very own LA, the LILA Blog in ‘Crossing the Ecliptic a collaboration with Rizio Yohannan Raj on her eponymous poetic trilogy. Some of his best known works include some signature dreamy reflections of monuments on water and brilliantly lit interplay of stones and shadows. He has also been running a continued photography workshop with children of a South Delhi school for several years and is now trying his hand at children’s literature.

AR Harikumar: Finance Director

AR Harikumar is a Certified Financial Analyst. With a background in Commerce (University of Kerala) and an MBA in Finance, Hari is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He works as General Manager for the International Business Division of a major Indian automotive components manufacturer. His main functional areas are auditing as well as direct and indirect taxation. He is passionate about poetry, literature and long travels. A happy husband and father of two angels, Hari’s main weaknesses are his friends, monsoon and village festivals in Kerala, and trips with his Garhwali friends throughout the Himalayas. At LILA, Hari is trustee and financial director.

Ayshath Shamah Rahmath: Content Development Executive

Ayshath Shamah Rahmath is a Doctoral Research Fellow at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Her research area includes gender studies, cultural studies (minority positioning and identity construction in multicultural societies), creative writing and translation. She has worked in different academic institutions (both in private and public sectors) in Kerala. Her path to LILA leads from the notion of being connected to one’s individual, ethnic and cultural identity, which she deems integral to negotiate her diasporic existence. Mother to a three-year-old handsome boy, she travels across time and space to connect with LILA.

Chahat Rana: Blog Editor

Chahat Rana is a second year literature student at Ashoka university, a private liberal arts college. Her quest for pursuing a fruitful summer experience turned into something much more rewarding as she started working at LILA, allowing her to to channel her true passion, i.e writing through the new blog for which she now creates and curates content, alongside many other talented contributors. In her free time, she likes to pretend like she is on stage, singing, dancing or acting. She hopes music will forever guide her and her pen, or she won’t know what do with her life.

Latha Narayanaswamy: Coordinator – Kerala

Latha Narayanaswamy holds her triple masters in Commerce, Human Resources and Journalism. She started her career with some reputed Chartered Accounts and Audit firms, and has more than 15 years of experience in accounts and audits. She has worked with the UNDP as a UN Volunteer in a Human Development Project in Trivandrum as Specialist of Operations and Management. Kerala bagged 2 awards for the project’s publications in Human Development. She has also worked for the World Bank supported project, Decentralization in Kerala,as Finance & Procurement Specialist, as well as for a Capacity Building Project in Kerala aided by ADB. She has made valuable contributions to various developmental projects in the past 5 years. Currently, she also takes up freelance assignments in Auditing and Accounting, Management. Apart from these, she has a passion for Carnatic Music, and has been working as Executive Member for 3 terms in Ranjini Sangeetha Sabha. She is also Executive Member of Brahmana Smooham–VanithaVibhagam at Kottayam, Kerala.

Monica Dawar: Consultant (Photography )

Monica Dawar is our Consultant for Photography. She has established herself as an ace photographer across the panoramic arena of the arts. Her coverage extends in an exhaustive manner across a range of culture related photography. From the genres of Dance, Music, Theatre to Portraits, Wildlife, Street Shots, she has successfully straddled various subject matters. The art of Monica Dawar is that she lets her subjects be the photograph. She and her camera do not try to obscure or overpower the subject. She feels, and senses, and through her lens those feelings and that sensitivity speak.

Prayas Abhinav: Artist-Writer on Internet

Prayas Abhinav is an artist and teacher. He has worked in the last few years on numerous pieces of speculative fiction, software, games, interactive installations, public interventions and curatorial projects. He contributed to research and projects at northeastwestsouth (n.e.w.s) (Amsterdam, NL). He has conducted workshops at Centre for Environmental Planning Technology (CEPT) (Ahmedabad), Dutch Art Institute (Arnhem, NL), MICA (Ahmedabad) and National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad & Bangalore). In the past he led the Centre for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA) at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and at present he teaches at the Institute of Design Environment & Architecture at Indus University (Ahmedabad). He is the initiator and the Director of the Museum of Vestigial Desire and founding member of Surfatial. He has developed his research and practice with the support of fellowships by Sarai, Openspace, the Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA), TED and Lucid. He has been in residencies at Khoj (India), Coded Cultures (Austria) and dis-locate (Japan). He has shared his work at festivals including Transmediale, 48c, Futuresonic, ISEA and Wintercamp.

Priya Ravish Mehra: General Consultant

Priya Ravish Mehra is a textile artist and weaver, researcher and designer based in Delhi. She is Founder, Nasheman, a space to facilitate partnerships and cultural exchange for artists visiting India working in various creative mediums and disciplines. She has presented her research on textile traditions in various international forums and her work has been featured in exhibitions and shows across the world. She is co-author of Saris of India: Bihar and Bengal and research author for Saris, Tradition and Beyond. Making the Invisible Visible, and One Thread Only: Rafoogars of Najibabad are part of her ongoing project on ‘Rafoogari’, the darning tradition in India.

Rizio Yohannan Raj: Founder & Executive Director

Rizio Yohannan Raj is a writer, educationist, translator and governance thinker. Her multi-dynamic professional experience spans two decades of work in journalism, book publishing, academics and institution-building. She is the Founder and Executive Director of LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives, a think-tank engaged in multidisciplinary and intercultural knowledge production, dissemination and conservation. Earlier, at various stages in her career, she was affiliated to houses such as the Malayala Manorama Group, Macmillan India, Navneet Publications, and Katha, and the Universities of Madras, Mumbai, and Kerala; Calicut University, Central University of Kerala and Shiv Nadar University, New Delhi. She has played significant roles in establishing various departments and centres in some of these spaces. Her works including collections of poetry, novels, critical volumes, edited works, research papers and socio-cultural studies, have been published by Harper Collins, Cambridge University Press, Indiana University Press, Kendra Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and several journals and magazines across the world. She has been a long-time associate of the Indo-Swedish translation project, under which she translated and introduced various writers from the two countries. She was part of the International Visitor Leadership Programme – 2010 of the US Department of State. Her PhD focuses on the intersection of Literature and Philosophy with special reference to the school of Samkhya. She has been on the editorial and advisory boards of various publications and organisations, and has held workshops and seminars for capacity building in different parts of India and abroad. Currently, she curates ILF Samanvay, the annual Indian Languages Festival of the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Sunita Devi: Logistics

Sunita Devi is in charge of housekeeping, and catering at LILA. Hers is a story that inspires us, and constantly reminds us that happiness is created by the human heart, and not by any external device. Born in Jharkhand, and brought to the city of Delhi as a young bride, Sunita has seen and experienced some of life’s bleakest facets. Yet at LILA, she is full of laughter, witticism, music and dance, even as she ensures that our home office remains a clean, hospitable place. An excellent cook, she runs a catering enterprise called ‘Heeng Tadka’ which we hope will become LILA’s culinary label very soon.


Priya Talwar: Media Consultant

Priya Talwar has worked in a commercial magazine (men’s ‘lifestyle’), a finely crafted niche magazine (arts and ‘culture’), and a newsy issue based magazine (‘science’ and ‘environment’). What she is interested in is the overlapping space-when environment is not an issue and lifestyle is not blatant consumerism. For her, it’s not about finding ‘interesting’ people and letting them talk, but about knowing the rich inner lives of each individual. She wants to get better at articulating queries which may be beyond her present resources to solve, and to be, to be more, to articulate being.

Discover the profiles of friends who worked with LILA in the past here

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