Fulbright Orientation

Just completed my orientation for my Fulbright year at LabROSA (Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio) at Columbia University in the city of New York. You may have seen some of the things we got up to via my barrage of Twitter updates, but what I didn’t get the chance to get across so much was the wealth of talent that Fulbright have collated this year. Amongst the incredible brain surgeons, lawyers and hostage negotiators, I thought I’d share some info on some of the scholars I’ve had the honour of meeting over the last few days.

First up, Oscar Sharp is a director whose 5-minute film `Sign Language’ won a ton of awards, including the Grand Prize at the Virgin Media Shorts and the Grand Prix, Reed film contest.

Second, Sam Sharma is a Surgeon currently working in London with a passion for Deep House, DJing and production. I’ve posted a set below, but you can find out much more on his soundcloud page.

Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to Miriam Nash, a London-based poet who will also be working at Columbia University. You can read about some of the things she’s up to on her personal blog. The two of use have in fact already been brainstorming about ways we could collaborate on poetry in lyrics whilst we’re working in NYC.

Well, I hope that gives you an idea about the kind of talent that will be heading to the US in the coming months to foster cultural understanding between the US and UK. I’ll end with a quote from Senator J William Fulbright regarding the exchange program he set up in 1948 following the end of the Second World War which really sums up the idea of the program:

“The simple purpose of the exchange program…is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. The exchange programme is not a panacea but an avenue of hope.”

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