On Thursday, February 28, Community Voices will present Thenmozhi Soundararajan, writer, director and singer. Her Community Voices talk will be from 7-8 p.m. in the Historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg, Virginia. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Transmedia Artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan will share an evening of digital stories from her work with communities and digital storytelling around the world. She will lead an interactive dialogue with song, digital stories, and audience participation about the purpose of story in community building and explore the links between identity, narrative, and community change. Of special focus will be her work with co-collaborator and research faculty at Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance, Holly Larson Lesko and their emerging New River Valley Narrative Praxis Collaboration funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Thenmozhi has been engaged in digital storytelling creation and training for nearly 15 years and has worked with local youth and adult groups to build personal stories of health and community in the New River Valley over the past two years.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a singer and Transmedia artist who in 2003 was featured in Utne Reader as One of the Top Visionaries Under 30, and the same year was profiled in The Source as One of the Top Ten Political Forces in Hip Hop. Growing up as an Indian Untouchable, she was driven to tell the stories of marginalized communities, which led her, upon graduating from UC Berkeley, to found the international media training organization, Third World Majority, for which she taught in the U.S., France, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, and India. She also spent time in residence at the MIT Center for Reflective Community Practice, writing about storytelling, diversity, and future technology, and that research inspired her transition to narrative filmmaking, and enrollment in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Since then, Soundararajan’s work has been recognized by the Producers Guild of America Diversity Program, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Annenberg Innovation Center, Slamdance, MIT Center for New Media Studies, The Sorbonne, The National Center for the Humanities, International Children’s Festival, The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Currently, she’s directing her documentary, Touchable: The Journey from Untouchable to Dalit and its related album Broken People.