Hello! My name is Akash Kushwaha. I am a rising junior majoring in anthropology and earning certificates in theater and music theater. My pronouns are he/him/his. I am a biracial Desi-white man. Having grown up in an overwhelmingly white town in Vermont, I am continually struggling with how to reimagine my biraciality beyond the white, assimilationist, exclusionary aesthetic that characterizes much of today's art worlds.
Here’s my biggest insight so far at university: Arts are at the core of considering our own position in the world and crucial to developing counter-narratives and imaginaries that pioneer future forms of development and humanization. We need artists who come from a plethora of backgrounds (including academic majors) to imagine new possibilities of human interaction. Transformative aesthetic disciplines thus necessitate widespread involvement and intersectional insights — which is why I encourage anyone and everyone who is even remotely interested in art at Princeton to find ways to participate. Your identities and your contributions will be valued here.
I can personally speak to the efforts of the LCA's Theater Department in restructuring itself as a vanguard for equity, diversity, and inclusion on this campus. The department — though embedded within the elitist enclave we call the 'Orange Bubble' — is embracing more participatory forms of performance that aren't afraid of radically questioning structures of dehumanization and offering more humanizing alternatives. There is a long road of work ahead, and we need your unique initiative and perspectives. Align yourself with the department's professors and build relationships with peers and student leaders who inspire you. If you prioritize these people in your life, many of them will reciprocate and support you.
Apart from LCA department shows, I am a member of Princeton's South Asian Theatrics and a vice-chair for Triangle Club's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task-force (EDIT). Please reach out to me at any time for whatever reason. No concern or question is too big or small.
Welcome to Princeton!