Project Dastaan’s advisory board work at the forefront of culture, academia, media and technology.

We thank the following individuals for their continued support and mentorship:

Malala Yousafzai

Noble Peace Laureate

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist, student, UN Messenger of Peace and the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan.

Suroosh Alvi

Co-Founder,  VICE Media

Suroosh Alvi  is the co-founder of Vice Media. As a journalist and an executive film producer, he has hosted and produced award-winning documentaries investigating controversial issues, movements, and subcultures, including conflict minerals in the Congo, the Iraq War, and the rise of the Pakistani Taliban and global terrorism.

William Dalrymple

Celebrated Historian and Author

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic. His books have won numerous awards and prizes, including the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Hemingway, the Kapuściński and the Wolfson Prizes. 

Gabo Arora

Founder/Director of LightShed, Former Creative Director of the United Nations

Heralded by the LA times as “game-changing” and “transcending all the typical barriers of rectangular cinema”, Gabo Arora’s widely acclaimed virtual reality documentaries have all premiered as official selections at major film festivals around the world. Gabo is an award-winning immersive artist, filmmaker and Cofounder/Creative Director of Tomorrow Never Knows™, a content, technology and research studio founded by the industry’s leading creative pioneers and entrepreneurs focused exclusively on emerging technologies currently known as VR, AR and AI.

Dr. Shahidul Alam

Bangladeshi photojournalist, teacher and social activist

Shahidul Alam is a Bangladeshi photojournalist, teacher and social activist. He has been a photographer for more than forty years and “his photographs have been published in almost every major western media outlet”.

Alam founded the Drik Picture Library in 1989, the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka in 1998, “which has trained hundreds of photographers”, and the Chobi Mela International Photography Festival in 1999. Alam is a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland in the UK. His books include Nature’s Fury (2007) and My Journey as a Witness (2011). He was one of the persons of the year selected by Time Magazine in 2018.

Dr. Faisal Devji

Professor of Indian History. St Antony’s College, Oxford

Faisal Devji has held faculty positions at the New School in New York, Yale University and the University of Chicago, from where he also received his PhD in Intellectual History. Devji was Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University, and Head of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, from where he directed post-graduate courses in the Near East and Central Asia. He is a Fellow at New York University’s Institute of Public Knowledge and Yves Otramane Chair at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

Dr. Kate Sullivan De Estrada

Associate Professor in the International Relations of South Asia, CSASP Oxford

Kate Sullivan de Estrada’s research centres on an interest in India’s identity and state behaviour as a rising power. Her recent book, Rising India: Status and Power (2017), co-authored with Rajesh Basrur, advances the theoretical scholarship on status in world politics through an examination of India’s international status-seeking strategies since Independence.

Dr. Ayesha Jalal

Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, MacArthur Fellow

Ayesha Jalal is among the most prominent American academics who writes on the history of South Asia. She has published nine books, and serves as the Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, and was the recipient of the 1998 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Dr. Sundas Ali

Lecturer in Political Sociology and Politics of Southeast Asia, Oxford

Dr. Sundas Ali is a Lecturer in Political Sociology and Politics of Southeast Asia. She has been teaching students at Oxford for the last 10 years through one-to-one/paired tutorials, revision classes and seminars. She has developed teaching material, designed and constructed teaching syllabuses, and supervised dissertations. She is a political sociologist but has taught a range of other courses within the Politics syllabus including, theory of politics, comparative government, South Asian politics, Middle Eastern politics and European politics.

Anita Rani

British Radio and TV Presenter

Anita Rani is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV. An RTS Award winning presenter, she’s one of the lead presenters on BBC One’s Countryfile and is a regular part of The One Show team. Anita is also well known for her work on Channel 4’s Four Rooms and most recently for BBC’s War On Plastics. Having wowed the audience of Strictly Come Dancing 2015 (making the semi-finals) with her hard work and total fearlessness, Anita returned to the dance floor as host of the Strictly Live Tour in early 2017.

Asad J. Malik

Filmmaker and CEO 1rIC

Asad Malik’s studio 1RIC carved out a pioneering position in the AR for storytelling space with two separate narrative projects premiering at Tribeca (Terminal 3) and Sundance (A Jester’s Tale) in the span of a year. His work has been lauded for opening up new possibilities for the medium, earning critical acclaim in publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian and Fast Company. It has since been exhibited at prestigious art centers such as the Barbican in London.

Aanchal Malhotra

Author and Oral Historian

Aanchal Malhotra is a multidisciplinary artist and oral historian, working with memory and material culture. She currently lives in New Delhi and is working on her first book, Remnants of a Separation, about the belongings carried by refugees to either side of the border during the Partition of India in 1947.

Gayatri Parameswaran

Filmmaker and Immersive Journalist

Gayatri Parameswaran is an award winning immersive journalist and creator from India. She is currently based in Berlin, where she co-founded NowHere Media — a storytelling studio that views contemporary issues through a critical lens. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, United Nations, HotDocs, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, and have won the ‘Best Use of Immersive Arts’ at SXSW 2019 among other accolades. She’s a Sundance New Frontier’s alumni and likes to explore taboo topics such as war, peace, intimate partner violence and abortion using virtual and augmented reality. Gayatri is most excited about using VR and AR as mediums to create realities for a desirable future.

Anam Zakaria

Author and Oral Historian

Anam Zakaria is a development professional, educationist and researcher based in Pakistan. She has an academic background in international development from McGill University and started off her career with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) in 2010. She led their Oral History Project, Exchange-for-Change Project and School and College Outreach Tours in Lahore and Islamabad, collecting narratives of the first and second generations of Pakistanis, opening communication channels between schoolchildren in India and Pakistan and Pakistan and USA.

Dr. Yasmin Khan

Celebrated Historian of British India and Associate Professor of History, Kellogg College, Oxford

Yasmin Khan is a British historian and writer, and University Lecturer in British History (18th to early 20th century) based in the Department for Continuing Education and a member of the History Faculty. Her research focuses on the history of the British in India, the British Empire, South Asian decolonization, refugees and the aftermath of empire. She has also written about the Second World War and the imperial dimensions of the conflict.