I confess that when I entered the university I was a 16 year old student entering Communication for Development. My thoughts never stopped, emotions sometimes overflowed me. I watched anime every week, I already had an unbreakable relationship with FIFA and I think those were the years in which I wrote the most poetry.
I confess I had a lot of questions, expectations and desires. I always think a lot about what will happen the next minute, day, year and it was really distressing that, for different moments, my body was in the morning of a Tuesday in March and my mind was in the Friday of the following month. I confess that I still have that way of living, although I think to a lesser extent. I think I am a little more present.
I confess that in the course of the first two years as a student there were several life-changing discoveries. The most important, without a doubt, was meeting precious people for whom I can only express gratitude and love. There is much more I could address, but there is another confession I want to focus on: the thrill of research.
I confess that it has always been a little difficult for me to materialize my ideas, even more so when in those first cycles I knew more and more ideas, concepts, theories of sociology, anthropology, philosophy, so I tried to unite them with the little I was learning about communication. I confess that reading and talking with those beautiful people I mentioned previously gave me an insatiable curiosity, but I did not know that research could be an answer to it.
I confess that I knew that one night at the end of March on Salaverry Avenue, on the mythical ET-35 bus. I had to present a research idea from communications for a course and I had no idea what I wanted: About masculinities? About oblivion? About soccer? As we started to turn to go into the Army, I opened a newspaper I had received that day and on the front page was this word I had never heard or read, but it instantly caught my attention: post-truth.
I confess that I was stuck, like when I listened to MARINA’s Immortal or contemplated Friedrich’s Walker on the Sea of Clouds. Truth is a subject that is sometimes thought of as so absolute that the idea of a concept that distorts it or gives it another perspective exploded my mind. What is it? Why is it called that? Can I do research on it?
I confess that was the beginning of a fervent desire to investigate further. I connected post-truth with social media, framing, UGC, social communication and journalism. I fell in love with that topic, to the point that every time I saw my friends I would talk to them about that work. Reading, talking, searching and learning only immersed me more and more in that world.
I confess that I found the thrill of researching. Since that moment, and until now, my body fills with excitement when it is able to relate things that seem to have no connection whatsoever. Have you ever wondered about how Whatsapp stickers have revolutionized how we communicate or why there is the prejudice of reggaeton as “bad” music? The possibilities are so vast and that I think makes it even better.
I confess that there are dimensions of our existence that are so mysterious to me and I’ve always wanted to know more, like love and death, which helps keep that excitement, that surprise, that desire alive. I know that my experience is not generalizable nor does it pretend to be, I know that this may sound like an absurd story, but it is what I feel.
I also confess that all this does not make me immune to laziness, it does not necessarily make me good at research, it does not help me to solve those difficulties of having clarity that I mentioned previously. My thesis needs to be redesigned and every time I open that document, the tingle appears, but I am not constant.
I confess that my organization is in the process of improvement: many of my advances and research could have been much better if I had not decided to write a day before the final submission, or if I had not been lazy to revise the text, if I had not started reading at 2 am.
I confess that I am able to reflect on all this because I am now in a slightly different position. Together with an incredible group we had the opportunity to create Comunica Investiga Lab, where different communications students and graduates are researching and developing very interesting and relevant projects.
I confess that I am nervous. I have not given up researching, but now my role is more about accompanying and giving new perspectives to what these people want to elaborate. If sometimes I don’t even understand what I am doing, how can I always be clear with them? How do I know that the idea I am giving them is a good one? Is it feasible? I confess that sometimes I get too excited and perhaps I talk more than I should.
I confess that it is a big responsibility and a big challenge, but perhaps the best way to learn is by trial and error. It is curious, knowing how impatient I can be with myself, that this is the situation, but the most important thing about all this is that I am not alone.
I confess, finally, that I am very grateful. I don’t know what I will want to research tomorrow, how to do it, or with whom I might do it, but I am part of a community that is forming and growing together, where each person who is there collaborates for the good of the otrx. I confess that I am grateful. Very grateful.
IMAGE: David Friedrich, C. (1818). The Wanderer above the Mists [Oil painting]. Hamburg: Kunsthalle