India on Two Wheels

June Kim is a first-year MAAA student at SPEA. She is a member of the Cultural Policy and Management Alliance. Interested in bringing music to public spaces, she created Rush Hour Music Series, a monthly performance series held in the downtown Bloomington Transit Center. 

Photo Credit: Pia Chaib

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at IU currently has 1,808 undergraduate and 526 graduate students. Outside of the similar interests and passions that bring students to study at SPEA, many of us have other talents—artistic and otherwise—that we continue to practice, and hope to share with others.

CPMA, Cultural Policy and Management Alliance, through its ‘Student Series’, celebrates these students by showcasing their perspectives of the world through an artistic and/or cultural lens. We just had our first event of this series, and it featured SPEA’s own, Animesh Priya. The event, India on Two Wheels, was an exhibition of photographs he took during his year-long motorcycle journey through India.

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Animesh had already done some impressive things in his life by the time he decided to embark on his journey. He had completed a degree in Electrical Engineering, pursued acting on India’s premier stages, taught 65 children in Mumbai through Teach for India, and worked for TFI on the administrative end. After working for TFI, with the mixed desires of seeing his country, his people and the conditions in which they lived, and self-exploration, he drove 10,989.4 km, from southern to northern India, between August 23, 2014 and August 23, 2015.

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Animesh Priya Telling Stories

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Attendees enjoying Indian food & photos

During India on Two Wheels, Animesh shared stories from the road, giving context to the 39 chosen photographs. Although the idea of this trip may seem highly romantic or idealistic, Animesh explained how it tested him physically and emotionally (and mechanically). What struck me, personally, about his photographs and his stories, is the conviction of individuals in them—the conviction of a father’s love for his daughter, the conviction of a woman tirelessly fixing the roof of a building in the midst of a storm to keep everyone else warm, the conviction of an individual to ride his motorcycle every day. I walk by the SPEA sign daily, with the slogan that states: Lead for the Greater Good. I began to think, looking at Animesh’s photographs, that this conviction could be part of it. Leading for the greater good could mean, in part, that SPEA graduates should facilitate the opportunities for people to live their lives with conviction. Thanks, Animesh, for your art and your conviction!

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If you are interested in being featured in future ‘Student Series’ events, please do not hesitate to contact us at cpma@indiana.edu! If you are interested in Animesh’s photography and/or want to learn more about his experience, feel free to contact him at animeshpriya@gmail.com. He would be happy to hear from you!

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