I am a postgraduate research student who lives in Ireland. My research focuses on discourse related to active travel, with a particular focus on cycling, and the social dynamics it reveals. I obtained a First Class Honours in Communications in Creative Multimedia, and am now pursuing a PhD in Media Studies through Technical University Dublin, under the supervision of Dr Caroline O’Sullivan and Dr Lorraine D’Arcy.
I was born in South Africa during the Apartheid era, and grew up a member of the privileged, dominant social class. Memories of the tone and nature of the discourse that flowed around me as I entered my teens and early adulthood had a significant effect on my development as a human being.
At age 22 I watched A Dry White Season. It was the first media I was exposed to that was bluntly critical of Apartheid and portrayed the suffering of black people in South Africa “in plain language”, so to speak. It affected me profoundly. Over and above the dramatic personal impact of my first true understanding of what the people around me had endured, it showed me how critical creative media is for humanity: the film spoke to me as nothing else had which I’d seen or heard.
Later experiences, such as moving to Ireland with my family in 2005, further impacted my thinking and perspective. In 2012 I began reading books such as Why We Hate by Rush Dozier, The Lucifer Effect by Phil Zimbardo, The Selfish Society by Sue Gerhard, and Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sonntag in a quest to better understand myself and those around me. It is a privilege to be able to continue this search for knowledge through my research on active travellers and the social dynamics of the roads/streets network.