“In my classes, I have students from all over the world, from Colombia to Belgium to India. It’s a fantastic group of students who come from different regions around the world and bring different practices with them, whether in filmmaking or journalism or critical media studies," says Nitin Sawhney, assistant professor in the School of Media Studies. "That diversity has really helped shape discussions in class. Students collaborate as artists and practitioners on projects around local or international social issues. The class goes out into the city and works in public spaces, and the students show a real excitement and energy about doing their projects out in the world.”
Sawhney's research, teaching, and creative practice engage with the critical role of technology, artistic interventions, and DIY cultures among communities in contested spaces. Sawhney established Voices Beyond Walls, an initiative to conduct digital storytelling and youth media workshops in Palestinian refugee camps. He recently began a pilot research study in the West Bank and Gaza on the role of participatory media in building resilience and civic agency among children and adolescents. His recent documentary film Flying Paper explores the participatory culture of kite making among children in Gaza.