Dylan Lowry's Project

"I didn’t want to create a film about India,
but rather a film in India ..."

-- Dylan Lowry '13, Grant Recipient

Dylan spent four months in India during 2012, traveling and working on his film. Below, Dylan describes his trip and project:

I arrived in New Delhi in January 2012 and stayed until May. Though I’m here in the U.S., I’m also in India, India is here. In my head. Every day. I experienced four months of life-changing experiences, of engaging with other cultures, of gaining new perspectives. During my time in India, I lived with an Indian family, met many people, and studied Indian national identity and the arts. I witnessed the enactment of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jainist, Muslim, Sikh, and Sufi practices of devotion.

I studied and visited historic-cultural sites such as the Red Fort, the Victoria Memorial, and the Taj Mahal, and places of pilgrimage such as the banks of the river Ganga and the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment over 2400 years ago. I learned how to speak Hindi, how to bargain in the markets, and how to travel the subcontinent independently. After my program ended, I traveled the Central Himalayan Range for a month, visiting small villages and ancient monasteries. Almost daily, I continue to reflect on my experiences in the Spiti River Valley at the Tabo monastery, founded in 996 C.E., and the village of Mudh, an isolated village in the Pin valley.

I spent the month of April researching and shooting a film on India’s many modes of passenger transport. The 20-minute film, “mo(ve)ments,” was screened in Binghamton at the Art Mission theatre/gallery at the 2012 Student Experimental Film Festival. This project was made possible by the Kesh International Travel grant, which helped cover the costs of train tickets and guesthouse accommodations. I also received a Gilman Scholarship for my study abroad. As follow-up project, I have created a study abroad apply-for-a-Gilman promotional video, which is embedded here.

I learned a lot about my American culture and politics—about race and gender relations, about social norms and expectations, about identity and public expression. My worldview expanded as I saw alternative manifestations of capitalist and patriarchal structures that foster human inequities. Studying abroad has been the most enriching time of time of my life and I urge students to seek out the many grants/scholarships and programs available for study across the world.

IC students should check out study abroad options at the Office of International Programs website: ithaca.edu/oip

For more information on the Institute of International Education and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, visit: iie.org/gilman

Photos from India.