Podcast: Nitin Sawhney, “Media and Resilience: Creative DIY Cultures and Civic Agency among Marginalized Youth”

Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is a Research Fellow and Lecturer with the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT. His ongoing research, teaching and creative practice engages the critical role of arts interventions in contested spaces and participatory media with marginalized youth. Nitin completed his doctoral work at the MIT Media Lab where he conducted research on open design collaboration and DIY cultures in the context of sustainable development, as well as wearable and responsive community media interfaces in transitional spaces.

In 2008-2009 he served as a Visionary Fellow with the Jerusalem 2050 project, sponsored by the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for International Studies at MIT, conducting research on urban renewal and civic engagement through the media arts in divided cities such as Belfast and Jerusalem. Nitin co-founded the “Department of Play”, a research collaborative at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, focused on designing participatory technologies and pedagogical approaches to facilitate civic empowerment among marginalized children and youth.

Over the past few years he has been conducting a digital storytelling and youth media program in the West Bank and Gaza, while developing a longitudinal research study on the role of participatory media for resilience and civic agency among youth in conditions of conflict and crisis. Nitin is currently working on a feature-length documentary film, Flying Paper, about the culture of kite making and flying in the Gaza Strip.

Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.


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