By Tasha Mathur
TERRY MARDI’S passion for creating a platform for the British Asian community came from a very young age but through unfortunate circumstances.
“When I was eight years old, I was called a P**i and I didn’t know what a P**i was. I didn’t think I was any different to any of my white or black friends.
“Then a gang in my area shot me in the leg because they wanted to steal my BMX bike and said: ‘P***is don’t deserve any bikes’.
“I realised that unfortunately there are people in the world that treat people of a different colour, differently. I think that’s been hidden inside me for my entire career.”
On a mission, he believes strongly in a sense of identity and self-worth in the Asian community.
“If I’m really honest, I’m just desperately trying to make sure no kid felt what I felt, when I was little. I realise that the people who really run these industries don’t look anything like my people.”
Coming from a poor family, he put himself through college and worked part time as a DJ, event promoter and sales assistant in an electrical chain store – acquiring an early taste for entrepreneurship and business.
After graduating with a degree in graphic design and advertising, and working for ad giants, Saatchi in the US, he set up Br-Asian, an early forerunner of his current group, with a friend. He’s determined to make a difference and sees the ‘whiteness of power’ within the media industry as a challenge and spur.
“They’re usually white middle class men. There’s a lack of women. There’s a lack of disabled people. There’s a lack of diversity and that really upsets me. I’ll just carry on doing what I have to do to change the language of young people, because I don’t think I can change older people’s minds. They’re set in their ways.”
He told www.asianculturevulture.com how he sees the future.
He said: “The tag line for Liger Films is ‘Films that need to be made’ and now I think this is something that needs to be seen.
“I want to get more into social impact and help the poorest people on the planet to have the fairest chances in life. You’re going to see me more on the ground, in communities, helping real kids deal with issues of bullying, underage pregnancies and drug abuse.”