Harvin Bhathal

March 13, 2020
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Tell us a bit about yourself, where you come from, your interest in CMNS?  

I am a first-generation Indian-Canadian, born and raised in the lower mainland. In regards to Communications, I have an interest in the interconnected political, social, and economic systems that have unequal consequences for society - consequences that filter through privilege and marginalization. Because of this, I major in Communications while doing an extended minor in Geography. These two programs overlap in my interest for the dissemination of information and the environment.

Why are you interested in this subject (your presentation)?

Although I am not of African-descent, I empathize with marginalized groups. For nearly a hundred years, India was colonized by the British (1858-1947) and it has had an irreversible effect on the country. My family is one of millions of other families that grew up in a country that is still recovering to this day.

These lasting impacts exist in Africa as well. Despite countries of this continent going through the process of decolonization, the consequences of colonization remain. The same applies to the descendants of slaves brought over through the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Slavery was abolished, Civil Rights were advanced but in 2020, equality has yet to be achieved. The systems of power that enslaved Africans are the same that created neoliberalism and racial capitalism.

I cannot change the past but I can advocate for a better future, the best I know how.

Can you give us a sneak peek about your presentations?

I am going to interweave the story of Tamir Rice with the political economy of communication behind the system that led to his murder.

What was the process like to prepare for your presentation?

Given that this presentation is situated in the busiest period of the semester, it was not easy. But neither is the work I'll be doing after graduating. I had to improve in how I manage my schedule and this helped in learning how to make most out of a day. For work I knew would be time-consuming, I set aside more time for it.

What is your experience in CMNS and SFU so far?

SFU's Communications department boasts educators that have both theoretical and practical experience in their prospective field(s). I have enjoyed the material in the CMNS courses I have taken, as well as the teaching style's of the professor's.

What would you tell students who might be interested in CMNS or to get more involved in presenting research?

I transferred to SFU for their Communications program. It's a program more-so based in theory, which has helped me expand my knowledge of how systems of power operate.

Presenting research is an opportunity for practical experience in regards to presentations that depending on your career path, will be invaluable. It is also an opportunity to expand your network, and not to mention, it stands out on a resume.