Signs of Crisis: Panelists

Philip Alston is an international lawyer who focuses primarily on human rights law and the law of international organizations. Director of the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, he has published extensively on human rights and worked on multiple UN human rights initiatives, including serving as UNICEF’s legal adviser for drafting the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. He is currently UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Tejaswini Ganti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and its Program in Culture & Media. A visual anthropologist specializing in South Asia, she authored Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema. Her current work examines neoliberal transformations of the Bombay film industry. She produced the documentary Gimme Somethin’ to Dance To! on bhangra music in the U.S.

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi is a 2006-2007 post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU. He has conducted language study and fieldwork on religious authority and ethnic conflict in Gujarat in 1995/96, 1999, 2000, 2001-2003, and 2005. He is currently completing a book on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, India.

Faye Ginsburg is Co-Director of the Center for Religion and Media, as well as Director of the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University, where she also holds the David Kriser Chair in Anthropology. She is author/editor of the multiple prize-winning Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community, and most recently, Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (edited with Lila Abu-Lughod and Brian Larkin), among others.

Sam Gregory, Program Manager of Strategic Networks at WITNESS, is a video producer, trainer, and human rights advocate. He works with WITNESS partners in Asia and manages the ‘Seeding Video Advocacy Program, including the upcoming Video Advocacy Institute. He was the lead editor on Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism.

Benedict Kingsbury is Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at NYU School of Law. With Richard Stewart, he directs NYU Law School’s pioneering Global Administrative Law project on accountability and participation in global governance.

Sally Engle Merry, Professor of Anthropology and of Law and Society at NYU, is currently doing a comparative, transnational study of human rights and gender. Recent books include Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice, and The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Local and the Global (co-edited with Mark Goodale).

Smita Narula, Faculty Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, co-teaches the International Human Rights Clinic. She has authored several publications on issues related to caste discrimination and on the rise of religious nationalism in South Asia, including Broken People: Caste Violence Against India’s “Untouchables,” and “We Have No Orders to Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat.

Vasuki Nesiah is a Senior Associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). She heads the ICTJ Gender Program, while also leading ICTJ’s overall country work in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. Dr. Nesiah is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, where she teaches in the Human Rights Program of the School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA).

Margaret Satterthwaite co-directs the International Human Rights Clinic and is one of the Faculty Directors of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law. Her research focuses on human rights abuses in the “war on terror,” the law of transfer and migration, and feminist approaches to international human rights law.

Joseph Saunders, an Indonesia specialist and lawyer by training, is Deputy Program Director at Human Rights Watch, where he is responsible for supervising HRW’s work on Asia, the Middle East, the United States, Central and Latin America, women’s rights, business and human rights, and terrorism/counterterrorism.

Jael Silliman is the Program Officer for Women’s Rights & Gender Justice in the Human Rights unit under the Peace and Social Justice program of The Ford Foundation. Her co-authored book, Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, received a 2005 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award in the area of bigotry and human rights.

Patricia Spyer holds the chair of Anthropology of Indonesia at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She has published widely on violence, historical consciousness, the media and photography, and materiality and religion. Currently the 2006-2007 Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU, she is writing Orphaned Landscapes, which explores the role of media in the religiously inflected conflict in Ambon, Indonesia.

Mary Margaret Steedly is Professor of Social Anthropology at Harvard University. Her first book, Hanging without a Rope: Narrative Experience in Colonial and Postcolonial Karoland, was awarded the Victor Turner Prize for ethnographic writing in 1993. She is currently completing a book on gender and peasant nationalist during the Indonesian independence struggle.

Tinuk Yampolsky (b. Solo, Central Java, Indonesia) has been involved in numerous film documentaries on Indonesian writers. She taught Javanese at Cornell University from 1987-1989, and Indonesian at Yale University from 1989-2000. Returning to Jakarta in 2000, she worked for the Lontar Foundation. She currently resides in Connecticut.


Aryo Danusiri’s ethnographic films, documentaries and short films have been screened at festivals worldwide. He is executive director of Ragam Media Network, an NGO that develops visual media as a catalyst for cross-cultural learning and community knowledge management. Current projects are Connexxcreen for Countering Fundamentalism in Indonesia (sponsored by HIVOS) and Playing Between Elephants, an ethnographic film about Aceh’s reconstruction processes.

Dian Herdiany is founder and head of Kampung Halaman, a non-profit organization supported by the Ford Foundation, which fosters social transformation through popular community-based programs, particularly targeting children and teenagers. Herdiany has worked for the Independent Film Society Foundation (YMMFI) and the Ford Foundation at In-Docs.

Sonia Jabbar is a writer, journalist, photographer, filmmaker and peace activist, with a focus on Kashmir since 1995. She uses photography, art, and film to communicate the complexities faced by women living in conflict zones to audiences in India and around the world.

Amar Kanwar is a widely exhibited and award-winning documentary film-maker who has directed over forty documentaries in ten years. He is active in the Delhi Film Archive and Films for Freedom movement which is a nationwide movement of documentary filmmakers who challenge state censorship of documentary cinema in India.

Garin Nugroho Riyanto has created nine award-winning feature films as well as television documentaries, commercials and music videos. He has published on media, culture and politics and is a film critic. He currently lectures at the University of Indonesia and is director of the SET Foundation, which focuses on multicultural media and democracy.

Anand Patwardhan is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and activist who, for nearly three decades, has pursued issues that are at the crux of social and political life in India. Many of his films have been banned by state television channels in India and became the subject of litigation.

Lexy Junior Rambadeta began his career as a photojournalist. He is a founding member of the documentary filmmaking group Offstream, whose slogan is Voice for the Voiceless. He is a core member of the Dutch-Indonesian documentary project Indonesian Futures which tracks everyday life in eight locations across Indonesia.

Rakesh Sharma began his career in the television industry in India, where he was involved in the establishment of three broadcast channels: Channel [V], Star Plus and Vijay TV. As a documentary filmmaker, Sharma has been an active member of the Films for Freedom campaign against censorship since its inception.