|Home Arts Medalist: Filmmaker Mira Nair|
Filmmaker Mira Nair '79 was the recipient of the ninth annual Harvard Arts Medal at ARTS FIRST. Nair is an internationally acclaimed director of narrative films such as Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay, The Perez Family, and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. After Harvard, Ms. Nair worked as an actor and then worked as a documentary filmmaker on such notable films as India Cabaret, Children of Desired Sex, and So Far From India.
States Nair, "What is the role of an artist in any society? Now more than ever, when the schisms of the world are being cemented into huge walls between one belief or way of life and another, we need the arts to reveal our tiny local worlds in all their glorious particularity. In my experience, it's when I've made a film that's done justice to the truths and idiosyncrasies of the specifically local, that it crosses over to become surprisingly universal…. Yet you can't take yourself too seriously. People who are venerated and think they're the answer are not students anymore. You have to be a student at all times."The Harvard Arts Medal was established in 1995 to recognize excellence and demonstrated achievement in the arts and to stimulate interest in the arts among undergraduates. The Medal honors a Harvard or Radcliffe alumnus/a or faculty member who has achieved distinction in the arts and who has made a special contribution to the good of the arts, or to education, broadly defined. The Medal is awarded annually at ARTS FIRST.
Previous recipients of the Harvard Arts Medal include:
2002: William Christie '66
2001: Peter Sellars '80
2000: John Harbison '60
1999: David Hays '52
1998: John Updike '54
1997: Bonnie Raitt '72
1996: Pete Seeger '40
1995: Jack Lemmon '47
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