Nisha Gupta is a clinical psychology PhD candidate who integrates liberation psychology, existential-phenomenological research, and the media arts to create therapeutic interventions for personal and sociocultural healing. Nisha creates emancipatory artwork that expresses the lived experience of various forms of sociopolitical oppression. Through these arts-based research projects, she seeks to disrupt cultures of silence, evoke empathy and compassion, initiate dialogue, and build solidarity across difference.
Nisha holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from New York University, and an impending doctoral degree from Duquesne University’s clinical psychology PhD program. Starting in Fall 2018, she will join the faculty of University of West Georgia’s Psychology Department as a tenure-track assistant professor of psychology. Prior to her training in psychology, she worked in the advertising industry in NYC for Saatchi & Saatchi NY and BBDO Worldwide, helping to produce TV commercials.
Nisha says of directing “Illuminate,” “Directing this film as a queer woman of color, and working with such a diverse cast of queer actors and actors of color, created this beautiful blurring of boundaries between fiction and documentary. It allowed us to tell stories of our own lives, and pursue catharsis and hope, as we together wade through the collective sociopolitical trauma of being marginalized minority citizens in the era of Trump’s America. Yet this film is not just for us. It’s also meant to honor the millions of LGBTQ people from past eras, all around the world, who never got to tell their stories of sociopolitical trauma–their stories of the closet. This film is also for you, in loving memory.”
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