thoughts – lipika bansal

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skype-interview from Delhi with Lipika Bansal, researcher and educator at Waag Society Amsterdam.
streaming movie — 12:30 // free art license CIK.

I am Lipika Bansal. Born, raised and based in Amsterdam from Indian origin. I studied international communications and science and technology studies. During both studies I looked at the influence of technology on society. My first study focused on ICT in developing countries and my second study looked into technologies such as biometrics and rfid and the acceptance in society of these privacy sensitive tools.

I work with Waag Society, a media lab, which develops technology for social innovation within the domains of education, culture, healthcare, sustainability and society. We also organise seminars and workshops. I do background research for these domains and develop small projects mainly related to developing countries.
Working in group is extremely important to be critical about your own work. You learn to be reflective and also get new input from others. learn from various perspectives, thus learn from other people and experiences. It makes you more open-minded.

My work is related to the various domains of art and activism. It is challening to connect them together and develop creative concepts. My last project was City Ragas in which people from Amsterdam and Delhi work on a visual story through mobile phones, by sending pictures of their city back and forth on specific themes. In India I work closely together with Sarai, a new media lab based in New Delhi and we are part of the FabLab network.
Last year I organised a two-day workshop on alternative formats of education. New media technologies have a tremendous scope for the less privileged. It gives people the opportunity to learn by doing. Therefore it’s also important to work with open hardware and open software. People are free to develop and improve the project, tu customize it.

I try to reduce my eco-footprint. I don’t eat meat, use a bicycle and travel with public transportation within Europe. I recycle paper and glass. I think about water usage, however this isn’t my strongest point. Also I realize that when I live under poorer circumstances I am much more aware and try not to waste anything. It becomes easier to be sustainable.

I love to be on the move, my dream is to have a bus which goes from village to village with people with different specialisations, theater, stories, music, animations, movies, programmers, designers, everyone is welcome in this bus. This bus is like a educational circus, which tells stories and teaches different things. But at the age of 70…it would be so nice to be telling about my various life experiences and exchanging stories under a tree in the sun.