Rupak grew up in the city of Patan, Nepal, or as a child he thought the city grew around him – learning and relearning from the people that labored in it and the alleys old and new in which they traversed. Before engaging with social theory, he learned from the social life worlds of the city - on how identity is constitutive of coexistence yet something that already always conditions exclusion. This was an iterative and a visual process of learning about, and being in, the world.
Outside of South Asia, Rupak's life journeys in a white central Minnesotan town, Latino Pilsen in Chicago, and Pan-Asian Flushing/Jackson Heights in Queens, NY have taught him that social and political life is always more-than-textual. He takes these experiences to heart in participating in ethnographic research as a visual geographer by engaging with photography and film. In graduate school, his research projects are guided by these life experiences in asking how sovereignty and identity are realized in the everyday.