Amar Bakshi

Amar Bakshi

Artist & Founder

Amar is an artist and creator of Shared_Studios, a multidisciplinary art, technology and design collective dedicated to carving wormholes through the world.

Amar is also the creator of the global public art initiative,Portals, which has been displayed at the Yale University Art Gallery, Arte Alameda, Woodrow Wilson Plaza and the United Nations, among many other locations.

Amar also created The Legal Medium, which explores how artists use law in their work. That first symposium took place at Yale Law School in February 2015.

Amar graduated from Harvard University in 2006 as the first joint major in Social Studies and Visual and Environmental Studies. He created a text and video thesis on the workings ofZimbabwe’s Information Ministry during land reform. He also founded Aina Arts, integrating local artisans into under-resourced schools in Mussoorie, India.

In 2006, Amar joined the Washington Post, editing an international affairs blog moderated by David Ignatius and Fareed Zakaria connecting seventy-five eminent international journalists in discussion about issues of the day.

While in this role, Amar pitched a novel text and video idea to travel the world for a year capturing the unique stories of individuals from all walks of life – from farmers and rappers to imams and entrepreneurs – on how they see America. He received funding and in 2007 set out around the world with just a backpack and a video camera. He visited twelve countries over the coming year creating text and video vignettes on How the World Sees America. Fareed Zakaria called the series "Fascinating and groundbreaking."

When Barack Obama won the presidency, Amar became Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. In this role, he worked on development policy, Muslim outreach and integrating new media into diplomatic efforts. In the corridors of Washington, however, he felt removed from the people affected by policy decisions and realized that the ideal role for him was somewhere between power and the periphery, sharing individual stories and connecting disparate groups through media and art.

He went back to media, this time at where he built the organization's flagship international analysis site and launched his own live online show connecting people around the world in conversation. The online show was his first attempt at bringing people from all walks of life into direct dialogue – putting individuals like those he met on the road in touch from Seoul to Caracas. Shared_Studios is the next iteration of this attempt, though now in the world of art and with more advanced technologies than ever.

In addition to undergrad and law school, Amar received a Masters in International Affairs and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2014. He is a Truman Scholar and Soros Fellow and has given numerous lectures from the University of Chicago to UCLA. He has also appeared on media outlets includingNPR, BBC, CNN, ABC, MSNBC and The New York Times.