For each episode, our guest will be asked to choose five pieces or items that have influenced their intellectual life and their work. These five items can be books, art, music, poetry, photographs, performance, a person, an event, or an experience. The choices then become the basis of a free-flowing conversation that discusses our guest’s life, their personal, political, and intellectual journeys and histories. At the end of the program, our current guest will nominate the person to be interviewed next in the series making this podcast an exercise in serendipity and intellectual history of a new generation of writers, scholars, artists, and activists.

Roopa Gogineni

Roopa Gogineni is a filmmaker and photographer who lives between Nairobi and Paris.

This week, we spoke to Roopa Gogineni, a filmmaker and photographer who lives between Nairobi and Paris. She holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, where she researched the construction of media narratives around Somalia. She has produced a radio documentary on race and historical memory in Louisiana, made reality TV in Somalia, and photographed the last mountain shepherds in Spain.

Roopa choose:
1. Colored People: A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
2. Summers spent in India as a child
3. The evening news
4. Cuba, an African Odyssey (documentary)
5. Photographing the other
Roopa was nominated by Canadian-Somali journalist Hassan Santur and she elected Nanjala Nyabola, a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi as our next guest.

The above podcast is a part of
5 Objects
The Polis Project podcast can
also be found on