Crystal and Catalina's tandem began in October 2022, when Catalina traveled to Santiago de Chile from Berlin, where she is pursuing her master's degree in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies at the Freie Universität. There, the two met personally and attended a welcome meeting organized by Dr. Lorena Antezana, who is in charge of the project at the Faculty of Communication and Image at the University of Chile in Santiago.The research stay at the university lasted two months, during which both scholarship holders were able to present their projects to the rest of the team, in the case of Crystal, an undergraduate thesis focused on the recreation of real events in the docudrama Ecos del Desierto, and in the case of Catalina, her research on the reception of the series Los 80, which will be her master's thesis.
The experience of sharing work, in addition to the support and comments from FCEI academics, allowed Catalina to resolve doubts and refine the thesis project she had to begin field work, which consisted mainly of interviews conducted in different cities of the country. In addition to the activities at the university, Crystal and Catalina, along with the other GUMELAB fellows, visited the The Museum of Memory and Human Rights , which was relevant to the projects of each of them.
On the other hand, Crystal traveled from Santiago de Chile to Berlin at the end of April 2023. For 20 days she had the opportunity to tour the city, learn about the different cultures that converge there, and delve into the history of Germany. During her stay, she presented a second part of her research, focused on how real information about an event could be used in the construction of a script for a production based on real events.
In this way, both students completed their tandem experience, advancing their research and contributing to the GUMELAB research project.
Our interdisciplinary experience as part of the GUMELAB tandem program was more than just gaining new academic knowledge. The opportunity to discover new cultural sides, to experience local customs and to get to know the special features of the cities and their inhabitants led to a fascinating adventure.
Together we visited different museums in both countries. This enabled us to acquire a deeper knowledge of the country's history and culture and to exchange our thoughts and perspectives about it. Experiences like these have brought us closer together within our tandem exchange.
Already knowing someone in the country we were travelling to proved to be beneficial in many ways. Grouping in tandems contributed to enriching our research by supporting each other. It also strengthened the feeling of trust and security in the new country and made it easier to deal with possible language barriers or the culturally unknown.
During our visit to the other country, we also had the opportunity to participate in academic activities, such as attending courses or lectures at the host university. In addition, we have always received excellent support in our work from a great team of mentors and have been accompanied throughout our investigations.
In summary, we can say that the GUMELAB project has allowed us to surpass ourselves both on a professional and personal level. We were given the opportunity to combine a research stay with getting to know a new city and new people. With confidence we were able to face challenges that came with it, thanks to the excellent support of the GUMELAB team. We therefore not only learned a lot for our projects, but also for our personal development. We would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who likes investigative or personal challenges and is eager to step out of their comfort zone to be able to find new valuable connections and perspectives.
Research is an academic look at reality, it is the questioning of a phenomenon of our context or everyday life in order to understand the behaviours and processes that occur in society. This allows us to recognize the forms of socialization and structure of each place, addressing their social dynamics and the structural bases of their communities. Accordingly, the intention of recognizing the perspectives of the diverse cultures and contexts from the teamwork proposed by GUMELAB, allowed us to analyze the processes that revolve around the analysis of the audio-visual series, approaching not only from the visualization of the series or telenovelas but also from the different social actors.
The tandem made thanks to the GUMELAB fellowship played an important role in the collaboration of the research projects as well as, in the multicultural connection between the students of the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Antioquia. Among the most relevant benefits of the tandem, we highlight the cultural exchange, the interchange of knowledge, and the opportunity to generate an opening of contact networks in both cities. Each of the researchers was able to get to know a new city in the company of her partner, allowing her to highlight the most relevant aspects of each place and learn from the context in which she has lived for the sake of her research.
Emphasizing the above, given the research nature, the cultural exchange generated the ability to immerse ourselves in the new environment, as well as to improve the investigative faculty in this new environment. It is relevant to clarify that the teamwork guided each other in the adaptation of the dynamics of the respective cities, concerning the forms and idiosyncrasies of the new cities. Not only allows the experience of new cultural and academic environments but also contributes to new perspectives, and broader, research topics, exploring new approaches and considerations in the projects.
Regarding the academic environment, the sharing of knowledge, experience, and research techniques between the students generated a better match when starting with the student's project from the Freie Universität Berlin. In particular, the experience of Carolina, who was already more advanced in her research, made it easier for her counterpart to learn new methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches to approach the object and subject of the study.
On the other hand, thanks to the interchange between the students, it was possible to generate wider connections within the University of Antioquia and the Freie Universität Berlin, as well as collaborations with colleagues and professors from different backgrounds. These relations were beneficial for the conclusion of the fieldwork, since without this help the data recollection would not have been carried out in such an optimal way, given that the closeness of these people, propitiated to obtain new participants in the research process.
Finally, this research tandem formed thanks to the GUMELAB grant, has been an invaluable opportunity for collaboration among the students, allowing for great progress concerning the fieldwork, cultural experience, and adaptation to diverse academic and research environments. Despite the short duration of the research stay, the benefits of this cooperation are immeasurable, including improved research techniques, broadened perspectives, and intercultural competence. These research tandem contribute to the growth and development of the students as it fosters collaboration and mutual understanding with diverse platforms and environments. We are very grateful to GUMELAB, the Freie University Berlin, the University of Antioquia, and everyone that helped us in the process since they provided us with a unique and academically powerful experience.