Saskia is a researcher, educator and media maker of Indian and Dutch origin who has worked in Europe, the US and Latin America.
Through my practice, both within and beyond the university, I explore the interconnections between media, political subjectivity and struggle. My core interest is in developing practices that harness the power of media as tools for nurturing and connecting communities and struggles, and I have explored this theme in various ways throughout my career.
My specialisation is in qualitative research, and I have a particular interest in ethnography and participatory techniques. My PhD, from the University of London, was an ethnographic investigation of the use of media in Mapuche struggles against settler colonisation in Argentine Patagonia. In the US and Europe, I have also have conducted qualitative research into media access, ownership and representation in relation to migration, gender and race. As an associate researcher for the Policy Studies Institute, I contributed to several reports on employment and social policy in the UK.
In addition to academic work, I have broad experience outside the university. I have worked as a union organiser in the US, and managed a multi-sited project working with community groups to build their capacities for empowerment through a focus on media. I have also explored the power of media and representation through creative writing, by making documentary video and by producing visuals for experimental theatre. In the US, Europe and Argentina, I have taught media literacy and video production to young people in non formal education settings. In Athens, I lead the Film Club at Melissa Migrant Women’s Network, which offers media literacy and production training to migrant women. I am the author of the Media Empowerment Organising Manual, a resource widely distributed in the US. My writing has also appeared in academic books, on OpenDemocracy, in the Community Media Review and a number of literary fiction magazines.