Sikuma Rai

Integrated Media Arts | Hunter College, City University of New York
Sikuma Rai

Sikuma Rai, 28, is a multimedia storyteller based in Lalitpur, Nepal, with work experiences in journalism and filmmaking.Her first documentary “Come Over for a Drink, Kanchhi (2020)”, won accolades in various national and international film festivals. Recently, she extended her creative endeavor by working as a costume designer for a feature movie “Gaun Ayeko Baato” directed by Nabin Subba.

For Sikuma, the process of storytelling is a way to enrich her life with experiences, come closer to the realities around her, and create an analytical understanding of our diverse communities. As a part of this endeavor, Sikuma will be studying Integrated Media Arts (MFA) at Hunter College, City University of New York.

Sandeep Badal

Visual Narrative | Boston University

Sandeep is a visual artist and storyteller, who has worked in the field of illustration and filmmaking for over a decade. He was Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholar from 2010-2014, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University (India), majoring in Painting and Printmaking. He has worked in the field of Advertising and Filmmaking as a writer, visual artist and production designer, and for the last couple of years he has been experimenting in the medium of visual narrative. Most of his projects, be it films or illustrations, focus on the life and experiences of marginalized populations. Technically, he mostly experiments in ink and digital mix-media, creating a fusion between Nepalese folk arts and the American comic-book techniques. But he is also interested in learning and incorporating the Japanese printmaking technique within his work. With a Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Narrative from Boston University, he looks forward to writing and illustrating stories that are personal to him, but at the same time are vocal about the deeply rooted socio-political issues in the patriarchal and heteronormative society. Since the Nepali graphic novel scene is completely underdeveloped in both creative and technical fronts, he also seeks to acquire as much knowledge and training as possible in developing and publishing a graphic novel.

Bhushita Vasistha

Creative Writing | San José State University

Bhushita is a writer based in Nepal. She has previously worked as a journalist in The Kathmandu Post and The Republica Daily. Her research on Nepali Chhanda Kavita and her public recitations have been received well. She is currently leading the editorial department at Nepalaya Publications and is attending a writing MFA in the US under Fulbright Scholarship on a sabbatical.

Gajendra Bhattarai

International Relations । Georgetown University

Gajendra took the Public Service Commission examination, cracked it and joined civil service with his first job as a Junior Officer, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal. Soon he became fascinated with his work, which inspired him to join and hold a Master’s in Political Science. Working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal for about four years, he took advantage of his work which came as an opportunity to access the diplomatic oeuvre of the finest from around the world, and he got the opportunity to delve in the finer nuances of trade diplomacy. His interest in understanding trade and transit issues grew deeper while he was posted as an Attaché at the Consulate General of Nepal in Hong Kong. Furthermore, he attempted the Section Officer Examination of the Public Service Commission in 2018. All of his professional experiences thus far greatly helped him get through the exam; and he was ranked number first among nearly 30,000 test takers of the exam. Meanwhile, he got his first posting through the Department of Customs to lead the Pashupatinagar Customs Office. Currently, he is working as a Section Officer in the Project Implementation Unit of Nepal National Single Window System which is a World Bank funded project designed to minimize time and cost for the trade community. As a Fulbright Master’s fellow in the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program at Georgetown University, he believes that he will gain pragmatic knowledge to assess problems on trade and transit of Nepal from a global perspective in order to initiate applicable policy reforms.