6. Lina Srivastava: Hashtags Don’t Make Change / by Elaine Sheldon

Lina Srivastava is an impact strategist who combines media, technology, art and storytelling for social transformation. She has assisted filmmakers (“Born Into Brothels,” “Inocente,” “Who is Dayani Cristal”) in positioning their media to have meaningful impact. She also provides design consultation to social impact organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank and UNICEF.  She practiced law for four years, before transitioning to the social impact field. She shares how she has helped filmmakers create impact campaigns to make real change, including providing clean water for a community in Honduras. Whether you are plugged into the impact metrics conversation, or feel alienated by it, this episode is for you. Lina breaks down how to catalyze and amplify social impact through creative media and warns of pitfalls she sees in the industry, shattering unrealistic expectations and pressure put on filmmakers to make change. 


Newsworthiness, in terms of documentary, is a really good standard. But a higher standard is ethics and accuracy. And when you’re thinking about social impact documentary, I go that step further in saying, if I’m documenting a particular social issue, I’m going to have to figure out what I can do. Some people think that documentarians are aligned with journalists, and you shouldn’t interfere. I don’t come out of that tradition. I’m an activist, I’m like, ‘We have to do something. We can’t just hijack somebody’s story.’
— Lina Srivastava

RELATED LINKS

Lina on Twitter

Regarding Humanity on Facebook

Lina’s Blog

Lina's Current Projects: Priya’s Shakti, Who Is Dayani Cristal?, Traveling While Black.

Lina curated list on MIT’s Docubase

Lina on Huffington Post

Name: Lina Srivastava

Current City: New York

What are you listening to now? Radio Gladys Palmera, The Avener, and Cassandra Wilson are in rotation right now.

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? This is a hard question to answer because there have been so many. When I was in grade school, we used to be assigned Newbery Award winning books. I especially remember A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and The Westing Game. They were mind-expanding, sparking a young and active imagination. As I grew up, Things Fall Apart, 100 Years of Solitude, and Pride and Prejudice did. In the past few years or so, Junot Diaz, Zadie Smith, Nicole Krauss, Hilary Mantel, Nayyirah Waheed, Colum McCann, and Aleksander Hemon have all opened my eyes. So did the film The Act of Killing. And of course Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Who is your career role model? Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as the Director of R&D at MoMA. A pioneer and innovator who stands above the crowd in a (male-dominated) field of pioneers and innovators.

What is a tool you can't live without? My cell phone. Pure and simple.

How do you drink/take your coffee/tea? Hot, milk and sugar

What's your spirit animal? Butterfly


CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

 

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW: 

Learn about our featured MusicMaker, Ana Karina DaCosta, here.

The Derevolutions: 

  • I Feel A Goo World

  • Automate Your Soul

  • Take it to the Hoop

  • Living in the Not World

  • Crazy Janey

28 Degrees Taurus:

  • From Part to Part, All the Stars in Your Eyes, Hearts Were Made

  • Off album Underwater Love Sequences EP: Circle & Cross

  • Off album How Do You Like Your Love: Moments, Phases & Timing

  • Off album Mirrors & Gates: Heart Attack

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW: