Ariel Sophia Bardi is a multimedia journalist, academic researcher, and consultant, currently based in South Asia. Her work has appeared in BBC, The Guardian, Slate, Roads & Kingdoms, France 24, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Quartz, and VICE.
An American born in Japan, she has lived in six countries and reported across four continents. Her stories have covered archaeology and right-wing politics in India, Delhi's female biker gang, post-disaster planning in Nepal, the fraught politics of the Sri Lankan tourism industry, a Palestinian no man’s land caught between the green line and the security barrier, Bollywood-themed travel to the Tibetan plateau, and the refugee crisis and the history of hospitality.
Her academic work focuses on travel, borders, migration, nationalism, and ethnographies of space. She holds an M.A. from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Yale University. Her dissertation compared the partition of India with the founding of Israel, looking at the relationship of nationalist ideologies to the built environment and analyzing demolitions, transit and refugee camps, and heritage sites. Her Master's thesis was on French multimedia artist Sophie Calle. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and research grants throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
In other roles, she works in humanitarian and international development sectors, and has previously been both a consultant for the World Bank in DC and an in-house correspondent at the United Nations headquarters in NYC.