Bio:

Bryan Mark Urbsaitis received degrees from New York University (Ph.D. International Education 2007, M.A. Speech & Interpersonal Communication 2001) and Boston University (B.S. Mass Communication Studies 1994) and taught communication before entering the MFA-Integrated Media Arts program in nonfiction documentary filmmaking at the City University of New York-Hunter College. A freelance videographer, researcher, and activist with an eye and ear for social justice issues, he is quadrilingual and both a cyclist and founder of AIDS Ride South Africa. Find him at bryanurbs.com and arsa.org.za.

Artist Statement:

Wood drinks water to grow, fire destroys wood to fan its flames, earth covers fire to extinguish it, and water turns earth into mud.  Messages and I are like water…ubiquitous.  We pour into everything, can be healing and destroying, calming and agitating, nurturing and flooding, kind and cruel.  We are everywhere like the ocean, uncontrollable like a waterfall, explosive like a geyser, and mysterious like fog or steam.  My filmmaking and research are all very much informed by my cross-cultural experiences.  The world has for years been my cross-cultural classroom.  I have traveled to over 60 countries and have had the chance to do filmmaking and other media advocacy development projects in several of them: human rights education in Brazil, ethnographic research methodology in Mexico, reconciliation and peace-building in South Africa, HIV & AIDS throughout Africa, and filmmaking in Cuba, just to name a few.  Each trip contributes to helping me hone my artistic vision and activism in some way, and I aspire to create social change through positive examples of personal and public empowerment.