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Pedro Seiler, Class of 1996, is a cultural producer, founding partner of Queremos! (which has brought to Rio and other cities in Brazil several concerts and shows in the last 9 years, apart from the Queremos! Festival). He worked at Biscoito Fino Records, produced national tours of several artists such as Maria Bethania, Simone and Zelia Duncan, in addition to the Chico Buarque Chico Bastidas project. He curates and conducts music for various events and festivals such as the Paraense Invasion, Bahia Invasion, Sai da Rede, Rio Occupation (London), Open Air, Rider Weekends and the Experimente (Multishow) program. He is part of the Super Juri of the Multishow Prize and the Latin Grammy Academy. Here is a bit more about Pedro Seiler:
1- Tell us about your path after school, college and professional life – What prompted you to seek a project like “Queremos”?
After school I went to university at PUC Rio, for Business Administration. Throughout the entire course I did internships in different areas such as Record Label, Trade, E commerce and Real Estate. Later on I did a Post-Graduation at FGV in Entertainment Executive Production.
From 2002 to 2007 I was executive producer at Biscoito Fino record label. There, I was able to work with the most important artists in Brazil and also began doing some tours with them. Maria Bethania, Chico Buarque, Mart’nália, João Donato, Paulo Moura, Casuarina, Simone are some examples.
In 2007 I decided to start my own company and became a freelancer working on musical direction, curation of events, content for TV shows (like Experimente), soundtracks and also creating new events such as Invasão Paraense, Invasão Baiana, Sai da Rede, etc.
In 2010 Queremos! was born and the project goes on until today. It started very informally as an idea between friends but quickly turned into a business.
2- What are the challenges and expectations with this project?
It is very difficult to have a company in Brazil, it is extremely difficult to work with culture and entertainment in Brazil and besides that we have the currency variation. So I can say it is very very tough.
But we are very happy to have helped change the cultural aspect of the city and then expand it do other cities, building a platform and building a festival.
3- Where and how can you say that your school life at TBS may have helped in your profession? What would say are the differential of your academic formation?
I clearly see the formation of the school helping out in several aspects of the job. Communication, general knowledge, logical thinking, diplomacy, leadership…
Most of my contacts are in English also.
4- Is there a moment in your life at TBS that has been significant and that you can say that it qualified you to be who you are today?
It is hard to choose a single moment of my academic life. For me, it is more like the time I spent in school that helped me to become who I am and gave me the tools to carry on.
5- Tell us about what you aim as human being, your goals and projects for the next 5 to 10 years?
For the next years I really hope we can make the world a better place and we can pass through this terrible wave we are seeing of conservative attitudes. Help to fight prejudice, racism, transform the city we live in and do that by culture would be a great way.
Civil engineer graduated at Puc-Rio, Rafael Vieira – Class of 1999, is a partner of Riomix Mortar, which produces a product called Celumassa. Rafael developed, alongside his team, a sustainable mortar that includes its own recycled packaging in the composition, reducing the environmental impact. In December 2018, the company won the 22nd CBIC Innovation and Sustainability Award in the category of materials and components. We interviewed Rafael to learn more about this fantastic product and its trajectory.
1- Your project has two fantastic and important work fronts, both social and environmental. Let’s talk initially about the creation of this innovative product, Celumassa. What motivated you to create a mortar, a product so common in the day to day of those who work in the construction industry, with the differential of being distributed in renewable bags?
Actually, we work on the construction industry for decades and specifically in the mortar in bags industry for almost 20 years. Therefore, this project of industrial mortars in reusable bags is an evolution of what we do for quite some time. Our motivation is serving not only our clients but the community as whole.
2- The bags of Celumassa are made of what material?” How exactly is your reuse done?
We recycle regular Kraft Paper, common for cement and mortar bags. We have a special recycling system to reduce the bags in particle sizes usable for the mortar blends.
3- What was the contribution of the Materials Department of PUC-Rio in the development of this project? How long did it take to actually be feasible and marketed?
In an inter-lab study, between Puc-Rio and our own lab, we managed to develop a way to recycle the bags to a usable size and test it for its mechanical and durability properties and within 5 to 6 months our first truck of Riomix-Celumassa was delivered.
4- The incentive to donate a bag of 50kg for every 100 bags collected has had an effect? Do you notice a greater concern in people in returning the used bags instead of just discarding them?
Totally!! Our Social Plastering Program (PES – Programa Emboço Social) we believe is the main trigger to persuade our clients on returning the used paper combined with cement residue bags.
5 – You say that the construction industry is the largest generator of solid waste in the world. What are the waste disposal rates for this industry?
Around 1/4 of what enters a construction site leaves as solid waste. The more solutions we have for reusing, reducing or recycling this waste the more we help reduce the impact to the environment.
6- Let’s talk a little bit about the PES – Programa Emboço Social. How many families have already been favored by the project in Itaboraí? -What encouraged you to create PES? You told us that the external coating in the houses is very costly and therefore, little used. Do you use Celumassa itself in this project? Is a house without such external protection a house with more risks of collapse, infiltration and prejudices for the residents?
We started counting de bag returns on July 1st 2017 and on the 31st of December 2018, 18 months later, we achieved the incredible amount of 250.000 residue bags collected. A total of 50 family homes protected by the program. And also this helped deflect 2.500 cubic meters of solid paper combined with cement waste from the environment eliminating 57.500 kg of CO2eq blown out to our ozone layer through the reverse logistic system created by Riomix-Celumassa. For you to have an idea, to neutralize these emissions at least 450 new-planted trees would be needed.
7- How did The British School help you build and raise your social and environmental concern with the world? Did you participate in any social project at school? Do you have memories of having “put your hand in the dough” when younger? (Currently the school has projects with that NGO TETO and they were raising funds for the construction of houses. Was this school initiative already happening in your time?)
Helping people help each other! This is our goal, this is our inspiration. By returning the most amount of bags the more families get their homes protected. Plaster if fundamental for the durability of the wall structures, it also prevents humidity, heat or cold, living organisms entering the houses. Reducing dermatological and respiratory illnesses from the ones living in unprotected houses. It’s not hard to realize that Brazilian socially less favored homes lack the use of plaster protection, if you can see the bricks from outside, it means there is no exterior plaster layer. And yes, we use the new Celumassa mortar 2018 CBIC Innovation and Sustainability trophy winner technology to protect these houses. TBS is a great School, students have to enjoy and appreciate the unique opportunity to learn and specially built character there. In which ever area I enter, my experience at TBS will always be of great help. I really don’t remember of ONG TETO at my time.
8- Did you have any discipline or mentor in TBS that inspired you to build a better world, be it in the creation of Celumassa or create a social project that walks alongside your company?
All my teachers at TBS left a footprint on my character. Art, P.E. and Maths were my favorite classes. Now as a civil engineer, I look back and realize how. Art made me more creative and showed me a special perception towards nature, sports gave me great team work skills, leadership, learning to win and to lose, and Maths made me more curious and also realize that a lot of great men and women saw nature in a different way than others of their time and thought a whole lot of stuff before us.
Olga Saadi, Class of 2012 at The British School, Rio de Janeiro, had the amazing initiative of founding “Projeto Mão Dada”. The project creates 3D printer prosthetics for children, making them more accessible for children in need. Gabriela de Lamare, TBSRJ Class of 2018, interviewed her for the website.
1 – Where and what did you study after you left TBSRJ?
Production Engineering at PUC-Rio, Brazil.
2 – Introduce “Projeto Mão Dada” and explain what made you want to start a project like this.
“Projeto Mão Dada” is about bridging the gap between 3D printed prosthetics and traditional devices. On one hand, we have prosthetics that are terribly expensive and have little function and on the other, we have 3D printing enabling the production of inexpensive, functional yet fragile prosthesis. Despite the incredible job that 3D printed prosthetics are doing in giving hope to thousands of children, we believe it is time to take the next step. Our aim is to build devices that require minimal modifications so that the user him/herself can perform and maintain it at home. 3D printing was our starting point, but a lot of research is not necessary to build a high-quality low-cost device that is a useful tool in our users’ daily lives.
This project started out as volunteering – uniting my builder curiosity to a real need – but became “Projeto Mão Dada” when I realized the potential and relevance of such activity.
3 – Have you always been involved in projects like “Mão Dada”? Did you take part in any non-profitable projects like this during your time at TBSRJ?
Yes, the school culture of CAS is invaluable and was one of the reasons why I felt missed taking part on socially relevant projects after graduating from school.
4 – What were some of the biggest challenges you faced with this project?
Finding relevant partners was one of the first challenges I encountered. It was a completely new world for me, from the 3D printing perspective as well as the medical perspective. I met with some of the top professionals in both fields absorbing every information they dispensed.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find some amazing people to work with. Still, a lot of studying is going on. Other challenges included the Brazilian cumbersome bureaucracy, especially when it comes down to money and the lack of funding available for research initiatives – especially free-lance.
Innovating is challenging in itself – trying to break down what you know to build something new can be daunting especially as an independent organization lead by young professionals. In “Mão Dada” we break down every step into achievable tasks that take us closer to our ultimate goal. Still, every step is a new trial, but that is part of the fun, I guess.
5 – What is the next step of “Projeto Mão Dada” now that you have reached the target of financial aid?
The next step is a deep dive into research – new materials, simpler methods of production – and putting together an organized timetable to meet with these kids or a regular basis enabling the rapid prototyping rhythm we need. Reinventing prosthetics is very exciting, but we need to take it one-step at a time to make sure every detail is looked into.
6 – What is the most rewarding thing in working with a project like “Mão Dada”?
Working with social ventures is essentially rewarding. No wonder we hear so much about “making an impact”. Getting to see your efforts applied to real life and being able to change someone else’s life is amazing. In “Mão Dada” specifically, the most rewarding bit is the psychological transformation the children go through. From shy and introspective to playful and smiling kids, even when they are not using their devices. This transformation is the most rewarding part – knowing that prosthetics are simply a tool for something a lot bigger that is self-esteem and freedom from stigmas.
7 – What do you think was the most important thing you learned as a person at the The British School?
I believe that The British School shapes its students into becoming questioning individuals, with multiple interests and with passion to pursue their goals. The most important thing I learned at the school is the multidisciplinary within every person and that we should harvest this way of thinking rather than suppressing it and fitting inside a single mould.
Goia Mujalli, Class of 2003, became an artist since living in UK, and is making her debut this week at the Art Rio fair with her paintings. Gabriela de Lamare, Class of 2018, interviewed her for the website.
1 – How do you think TBS prepared you and helped develop your artistic side?
The art classes were really important to me, as it was the first place where I learnt how to use paint. The art classes were given since we are very young and it was there that I noticed that I enjoyed it.
2 – Why did you decide to go to London and what professional and personal opportunities did it bring to you?
London had always been a city that attracted me in the sense of its cultural scene. Especially due to it’s mixture of different cultures from all the over the world. I thought to study art in London would be a good experience. Barely I knew I would end up staying there for over seven years now. I must say it wasn’t easy for a foreigner to arrive in the UK. Culture wise, it is very different from Brazil. However, I enjoyed this shift of culture and it helped me grow and immerse myself even more in my practice. I recently got invited as visiting tutor in the Painting department of the BA at Brighton University, which I am very pleased and excited about.
3 – Have you always been focused on contemporary art or do you also enjoy other styles of art?
I have been researching historical and contemporary art for almost ten years now. I also studied Graphic Design before in an Industrial Design Bachelor here in Rio. I guess it’s good to be open about things.
4 – Since when have you been involved with the Mercedes Viegas Gallery and what is its significance in your career?
I have been working with Mercedes Viegas since last year in December 2017. I think it is very important to have someone that trusts your work and pushes it forward. I have a lovely exchange with Mercedes and I hope to grow even more. Next year I’ll have my first solo show at her gallery and I am really looking forward to it.
5 – What is the impact that painting has on your life and where do you get your inspirations from?
I get ideas from whatever life experience I have. Those experiences can come from reading a book, having a conversation, travelling, seeing a show, meeting people, walking, dancing, and mostly exploring the materiality of paint and what it can do on the surface.
6 – What are the greatest challenges you face daily as an artist?
The greatest challenges that I face, as an artist is how to always push the work and bring new experiments into the process. It is really important for the artist to always be investigating new ideas even if it’s within the same medium. Also, how to earn money as an artist is a challenge.
7 – How was the process for the exhibition in Art Rio?
This is my first time showing in ArtRio. I am really happy to be showing alongside amazing artists from the gallery.
8 – How would you generally describe the purpose and message you want to transmit with your paintings?
The message would be a sensation you get from each work. Each painting transmits a different sensation through colour and it’s interesting to know what response people get from it as this dialogue is also part of my process.
9 – How would you say that the TBS shaped you into who you are today as an artist and as a person?
Having had the opportunity to study at the TBS, it offered me to explore and speak a different language and culture. Most of the people that studies at the TBS spends all those years growing up together and we see people change fast throughout the years. For me, I would say the art classes really helped me see what I really liked doing as a profession.
10 – Are you planning any big projects or other exhibitions in the near future?
I will be showing in December here in Rio at the Jacarandá, which is an amazing artist run space. It will be a group show and I am really looking forward to show alongside these amazing artists, as it has been a project that has grew along this year.
11- Share some of the memories you most treasure from your days at school
The school has been a great place to create friendships that will be for life. I had amazing tutors that really made a change in my thinking. Still after graduation, I kept in touch with tutors and Mr Nash and Rose were really helpful in choosing which schools to study in London. The educational system really prepared me. I have been two years ago to the school and still tutors remembered me, especially Mr Dave Williams. I had an amazing experience and I think the peers were great part of it.
Lorena Lourenço – Class of 2011 is a filmmaker, director and producer.
After graduating from The British School, Lorena Lourenço (Class of 2011) studied a year at PUC before transferring to UCS (University of Southern California – School of Cinematic Arts – USA) for a course in Cinema. Since then, her #resilience and #creativity have clearly continued to develop, and we are extremely pleased to see that she has won the IndieFEST Intenational Film Award, at San Diego (USA) for her short film “Joy” – written, directed and edited by Lorena!! Congratulations, The British School is proud of your achievements! Some more information about the Film and International Award at http://www.srzd.com/entretenimento/cineasta-brasileira-premio-internacional/
Check out this interview, elaborated and conducted by Gabriela Delamare – Class 11 student (2018).
1- How did the IB Diploma prepare you for your career as a filmmaker and when did you develop an interest in it?
I always knew I wanted to work with something creative, but as I started appreciating the mastery in films such as American Beauty and City of God I realized my passion was filmmaking. My dream of a career in film began to solidify when I was told during an IB curriculum presentation that one person who had recently graduated from the IB Diploma had gone on to pursue a degree in filmmaking. Once I realized that filmmaking was an actual degree I could pursue and that the IB helped you prepare for that I was ecstatic. By the end of that presentation I knew what I would go to college for. I was also extremely lucky in being prepared with the English and Drama courses I took throughout the IB. I started college fully versed in Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Beckett and Shakespeare, which was a great advantage, and to this day these teachings help shape my filmmaking.
2- What is a day in your work like and what challenges do you face as a filmmaker?
It varies depending on the project I am working on. If I am directing a project it varies between adjusting notes to a script, to running lines with actors, to meeting with the Director of Photography and Producers to fine tune the last details of a shoot. If I am producing it goes from location scouting, to coordinating shoots with cast and crew, to sitting in the editing room with a director helping them make creative choices. If I am editing it is usually just me in a dark room cutting and tweaking footage for hours on end. I believe the biggest challenge I face as a filmmaker is finding the platform to portray my work. There is quite a lot of saturation occurring in several areas of the entertainment industry, so there are fewer opportunities for the amount of qualified and talented people trying to break in. Therefore, finding your niche and place in the industry is one of the greatest challenges.
3- How did the school support you on your path to university? Did anyone specifically impact your career choice?
The school was extremely supportive in all the university choices I made. I first chose to go to a college in Brazil, for which I went to all the Vestibular classes TBSRJ offered. Those classes not only prepared me for the vestibular but broadened my horizons and taught me a lot. Six months into PUC I decided I wanted to study abroad instead, so I went back to Mr Garry Nash for help and he was an amazing mentor throughout the entire college application process for an international transfer. I also had amazing support from Mr Guy Smith, who had been a teacher, counselor and friend throughout the entire process.
4- Why did you choose to transfer from PUC to USC and what course were you taking at PUC?
I realized that unfortunately there weren’t as many opportunities in the film industry in Brazil and that most of my curriculum at PUC was not directly focused in film, as I wish it were. So I chose to transfer to an American college to take a stab at Hollywood. I was extremely lucky to have been accepted to USC (University of Southern California), which is lauded as the best film school in the U.S., and the connections and lessons I obtained at USC still help me every day. At PUC, I took many of the basic communications curriculum courses, as well as some Film and Philosophy elective courses. Ultimately, theoretical knowledge I was offered at PUC was extremely important and formative to me.
5- What inspired you to write your short film ‘Joy’?
“Joy” was inspired by an insane year of visa applications and when that visa, which established myself as a female Brazilian working filmmaker in the U.S., was derailed by the Trump administration, all I could do was anxiously wait without any support, security or stability because of my otherness. The longer I remained in that position the longer I realized that the world I lived in was not built for me; an immigrant, a woman, a latina. “Joy” is my cinematic expression of that harrowing experience as well as a way to emotionally process everything I had been through. I could not be more thankful for our actress, Joy Sunday’s, heartbreaking and raw performance in delivering something I had for a long time hidden deep inside me. Through “Joy,” I was able to offer my perspective as an immigrant Latina woman striving to work and live in the current American social climate – one where, unfortunately, xenophobia, sexism and racism seem to run rampant. But that doesn’t mean we can’t fight it.
6- What do you think was the most important thing you learned as a person at the school?
I think BSRJ taught me most of all to express myself, and have the courage to go all out and find what makes me tick, using every creative bone in my body. All of the amazing teachers I had at school validated my voice and perspective as a writer, as a creative and as a person. So much of that initial support is what helped me get to where I am today.
7- Are you planning any other films or other big projects at the moment?
Creating “Joy” and hearing such great responses to it has been extremely validating and has empowered me to dig deeper into a subject that means so much to me. Therefore, I am currently working on a feature-length script about how immigration can play into the fabric of human relationships and sometimes bring us together, but also break us apart. Whilst that script is underway, I work as the production coordinator on a documentary about sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood.
Bruna Sève Patko – Class of 1998 is an entrepreneur and works as a fashion accessory designer. Check out our interview with our alumna!
When did you join and leave TBS? Did you graduate from the school? Where did you go to college?
I joined in Infant 1; I believe that was in 1985/86, and I graduated from TBS in 1998. I went to university in Florence and in NYC, at Instituto Polimoda, and The Fashion Institute of Technology.
What professional experiences did you have before becoming a successful fashion accessory designer?
In NYC I had the chance to work at the PR department of Tod’s and in the Sales and Merchandising department of Celine. Then I moved to Budapest where I worked at two Hungarian fashion start-ups called Tisza, a former iconic ex-socialist tennis shoes label, and at Nanushka. I moved away from fashion and went to join a strategic marketing consultancy boutique firm called The Garrison Group, working on projects across Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. After working at the Garrison Group, I joined Nike as their marketing director for Hungary.
Your husband is Hungarian and, once married, you lived in Budapest for almost ten years or more. What background did TBS provide that made a difference in this relationship and in your international life experiences?
Having studied at TBS, the school opened my eyes and head to the world. One of the biggest things I learnt at the school was to learn how to think, listen and see things from different perspectives. It sounds so obvious when you say it out loud but the truth is that learning how to see things from different perspectives is a skill that makes us adaptable to different circumstances. The fact that the school always encouraged debates, analysing and discussing topics through different perspectives, made me a more global thinker. With that, being married to a foreigner and living in such a different city like Budapest was putting in practice a lot of the basic life skills that I learnt at the school.
Please describe your business and tell us some of the challenges you face in your daily life as an entrepreneur.
I started LOKALWEAR while living in Budapest. My goal was to create a fashion brand that had sustainability and transparency at its core. I was in love with Hungarian folk art and thought its richness had to be shared and transformed to become more contemporary and wearable. I started to develop a line of contemporary jewellery focused on local production, transparency in production and inspiration, and started developing a network of local suppliers, artisans, retired ladies and people with physical disabilities. The idea was to create beautiful authentic pieces that had the total involvement of the locals and people who were outside of the traditional labour force in its making. With my return to Rio, I brought with me these collections and concepts and started developing new Brazilian collections. The goal is to connect people to places and other people through these accessories. It is like with a pair of earrings you get to discover the northeastern part of Hungary, Pantanal, the Brazilian Savanna and, in turn, you transform traditional crafts and involve the locals in the production, bringing authenticity and stimulating the local economy all at the same time.
The challenges are many. In Brazil, the ecosystem is not favourable for innovation. Every collection we develop involves new raw materials, andn trials and errors which require time and capital. So keeping this ratio between innovation, trial, error, novelty and market time is a constant challenge. The precarious infrastructure and high costs of Brazil is another challenge. Communication is also a challenge. In Hungary my challenges were in making people believe that this crazy idea of revitalizing folk art through fashion accessories was a good idea, whereas here the challenges are with basic service providers and in making sure that all the people involved in our supply chain understand the importance of their work and are committed to deadlines.
Share with us some of your most vivid memories from your days at school.
I still remember my first day at TBS. Sports’ day at the Sitio, Founders’ Day Fêtes, the volleyball and basketball teams competitions, the nurse, Marinalva, who was more than a nurse; her sweetness and how she took care of an entire school was amazing. The trips we went on with the school. The field trips, the history classes, the art classes with Ms. Alba and Ms. Arlete. The openness that the teachers had with the students was very unique. The teachers I had at the school had the skill to be both tough and friendly, with Ms. Carpinteiro being a great example; it is a trait that as I get older I appreciate more and more. At my time the school was small so my memories are of this great extended family. We knew all the teachers and students from a few classes above and below. And, most importantly, the friends I made at the school, many of which are still present in my day-to-day life.
Is there any teacher or subject that had an impact on your career choice?
Yes, Ms. Helida in Infant 2, who always made sure that learning how to read and write was fun and exciting. Ms. Sylvia in class three was very cosmopolitan and would share references from other cultures to our classes, like traditional Mayan songs. Ms. Carpinteiro, my maths teacher, for many years taught me to be analytical, which is something I only realised when I was working with strategic marketing many years later. Ms. Arlete, who encouraged me to pursue my creative side and motivated me to look at artists who expressed themselves through different media and through the use of colour, like Niki de Saint Phalle. Mr Nash and Ms.Eutalia, who had so much passion teaching history that made me a more curious and questioning person. Marco Antonio, the most passionate teacher of them all, who taught me Brazilian history. He would organise field trips with us outside school days, in his own time, to show us the complexity and beauty of our city and country, and Mr. Newman, the most gentlemanly of the gentleman, he was firm but encouraged me constantly.
Do you still keep in touch with classmates? Would you like the school to promote more events for alumni?
Yes, I keep in touch with many of them. It would be great for the school to have some sort of alumni association or database where people could find each other and reach out as well.
In one phrase, what can you say about TBS?
The school encourages you to challenge yourself, giving you responsibility, treating the students with maturity and encouraging long lasting true friendships and respect. I love it.
I graduated from TBS in 2013 and am now a senior studying International Politics at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
I owe everything to TBS. The school taught me essential life and academic skills that I use every day at Georgetown. I always say that the school’s true value is the fact that it prepares students for life and not for an exam. Since a young age, teachers inspired me to become a critical thinker and a lifelong learner. It’s not only about a grade in an exam, it’s about actually learning the skills to succeed beyond the vestibular or the IB. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received at TBS was: “before you formulate your opinion, read three different viewpoints, which contradict each other. This way you will be able to make an informed decision”. In fact, the school always encouraged me to become an avid reader. Since I can remember, we were always assigned books. Being able to read critically and efficiently is one of the most important skills to succeed in college, especially abroad. Lastly, I remember that as a TBS student, I would always have to present to the class. Being able to speak confidently and clearly is an invaluable skill.
How important was the IB Diploma on your academic education?
Even though I probably wouldn’t have said this in 2013, now I am a fan of the IB. I am almost graduating from Georgetown and looking back, I feel that the IB was an outstanding preparation for college. I say this because most students come to university completely raw, they have never written an academic paper or done research. In the IB, you have to write an extended essay, which is a great preparation for all the papers you will be writing in college. The IB is also a way to learn how to manage stress and how to manage your time, as you constantly have to juggle multiple assignments at once. This will become your life in college.
When and how did you start to become interested in politics?
I have always been a very politicised person. I think it’s because I have always read a lot. However, my passion for politics was really consolidated through the Model UN programme at TBS. My dad took me to visit the UN when I was nine years old and I became fascinated by it. When I found out about the MUN, I knew that it was a perfect activity for me. So, through my research for Model UN conferences, I began to realise that I truly had a passion for politics and international relations, and that is what led me to apply to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.
Introduce your website and tell us how and when you had the idea of launching such a relevant tool to demistify politics for beginners?
In addition to loving politics, I have always loved to write. I have always known that I wanted to become a political journalist. While at college, sometimes I felt that what I was studying was a bit too theoretical and I felt the need to apply it in a more practical way. I also began to realise that most young people don’t share my passion for international relations and politics. They think it’s all boring and too complicated. This began to really concern me because we are now living in a very polarised country, where people tend to be very absolute in their opinions. One thing I’ve learnt in my studies is that nothing about politics is absolute. Also, every time something happened in the world, a few of my friends would reach out and ask me to explain to them what had happened because they knew that I study International Politics. So, I would always try and find ways to explain to them what happened in a simple way, and they would immediately become interested. Therefore, I started to think about this and noticed that I had never heard of any blog or website that had the aim of introducing political topics in a very unpretentious way, with the intention of discussing complicated issues in a simple language, so that people who don’t necessarily study this could become more engaged. That’s when Desvendando Política was born.
Young people need a meaningful education in politics. Do you think TBS helped in your engagement and development of critical thinking?
TBS definitely helped me become a critical thinker. As I said before, the school always encourages its students to think outside the box, to read, to consider different viewpoints. The tools are all out there; it’s up to every single student to take advantage of them. The MUN programme made a huge difference in my life because that is where I was first really exposed to the world of international affairs. The school constantly emphasises its mission to educate its students for life, and not just for an exam. That in itself already makes a huge difference because we were always encouraged to challenge ourselves.
Politics can often feel like something which is far removed from everyday life, and something which most young people don’t easily relate to. How do you think we can encourage young people to engage in politics?
The most important thing in my opinion is to understand your responsibility as a young person. Brazil is your country; it is your responsibility to make sure that it has a better future. Yes, I went to study abroad, but I was able to do so thanks to the opportunities that this country gave my parents – opportunities that most people don’t have. If you are privileged to go to The British School and then move on to an amazing university, it is your responsibility to give something back, because very few people have the same luck. It doesn’t take much to make a difference. I feel that many young people want to change the world all at once and get frustrated because they are not able to do so. Small actions can make a huge difference. Read more and learn about what led us here. I feel that there is a widespread sentiment of hopelessness in this country, and this is far more dangerous than the corruption within our political system. You don’t necessarily have to work in politics if that is not your passion but, if it is, go for it! If not, then at least read about it and become as informed as you can. I think that once a sense of pride in being Brazilian is restored, more young people will engage. That is what we have to work on.
What are your personal aspirations and goals for the near future?
My ultimate dream is to become a political journalist. I want to be able to report on these issues, which I have dedicated so much time to understanding. Still, one thing that I have learnt in college is that the more you study, the less you actually know. It might sound counter-intuitive but it’s because there is just so much happening in the world, that when you actually learn something, you begin to realise how much you actually don’t know. Journalists have to be life-long learners, and that is what I aspire to be. I also have the plan to go to Grad School for journalism, in the near future, but not straight after my graduation. In addition, I aspire to continue my project with this blog, which gives me great personal satisfaction. Hopefully, by doing what I love, I will be able to inspire more people to want to learn more about the world. That is my ultimate goal in life.
Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo
The British School, Rio de Janeiro – Class of 2013
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University – Class of 2018
It is with great honour and pride that we share with you that Maria Eduarda Penteado, Class of 2016, will be joining Columbia University in New York City, and with a scholarship.
“Maria Eduarda has always been an enthusiastic and mature lady in approaching all areas of school life. Academically, she was an outstanding student, with strong IGCSE grades and impressive IB grades. She has always been highly motivated with a genuine interest in all areas of learning, and with a great passion for Literature, Languages and Drama. To quote her English teacher she “Handles the language beautifully, with great sensitivity and clarity.” Her principal characteristics are her commitment and enthusiasm which drive her to participate in a wealth of activities both inside and outside the school. She has appeared in all the school drama productions, and has taken part in numerous drama, singing and dance workshops and courses. She was an highly active member of the school community and believes strongly in the idea of being an active citizen. She has led the school’s Green Council, recommending and helping implement changes to make the school more environmentally sustainable. She was involved in the Model United Nations, and was part all the school and Brazilian MUNs, being rewarded with the position of chair of various councils at the BSRJMUM, SPMUN and BRAMUN, culminating in Chair of the Human Rights Council at the BRAMUN National Conference and Conference Director at the BSRJMUN both in 2016. She has received both academic and extra-curricular awards in all the years she has been at the school, most notable among them the CIS International Student Award in 2015 and was selected to represent the school at the LAHC Student Conference. This is certainly a student who is concerned about the world she lives in and wants to make a positive difference. In a nutshell, Maria Eduarda really does embody the kind of student that The British School, Rio de Janeiro endeavours to develop: a responsible, well informed, open minded, confident and caring individual.”
Her mother has also shared with us her delight and happiness:
“Não tem como não vibrar! Não tem como não estar feliz e comemorar.
Uma conquista tão linda. E que tem tanta gente por trás! E eu quero AGRADECER E COMPARTILHAR com estas pessoas.
Pessoas que como nos créditos de um filme, e que, geralmente as pessoas nem lêem e saem da sala com a tela ainda passando. Muitos tem mentoria e não falam. Para mim, a gratidão é um valor muito importante na vida.
Minha Duda Penteado passou dentre outras faculdades de excelência nos EUA e Inglaterra, como Georgetown e Kings College of London School , Para Columbia University: Ciências Políticas (major), e Teatro e Artes (minor).
Foram anos de preparação na The Britsh School, mas este ano que passou… foi “hard”! Muita determinação e foco dela!
E sem essa equipe maravilhosa minha filha não teria conseguido talvez, estes resultados tão maravilhosos… e com ofertas de bolsa de estudos!
Queria ressaltar e agradecer a excelente mentoria e apoio da própria escola, The Britsh School, Rio de Janeiro; nas pessoas do Gary Nash e Rose Peixoto, que foram de EXTREMA E FUNDAMENTAL importância no acompanhamento da minha filha (e meu), em todo o processo. Ao Professor Fernando Multedo, que prestou uma consultoria pontual em momentos decisivos! Ao Fabiano Jácome não só pelas orientações, mas pela amizade em tantos momentos.
Sem todos vocês, a determinação, trabalho e foco da Duda , as orações de minha mãe Elizabeth Marinheiro e de tantos amigos e clientes queridos, minha filha, talvez não estaria indo para Columbia University!
Meu carinho e gratidão! À você filha já falei e falamos tudo e falaremos muuuito!”
We are proud to have Maria Eduarda as member of The British School family and can only wish her all the best. You will be missed Duda!
Patrick will be attending King’s College, London in September where he will be doing a BSc in Computer Science and Intelligent Systems. Patrick has also declared that he plans to go on to do an MSci once he has completed his BSc. In Patrick’s own words he says that, “it’s so awesome that he now has all these opportunities in (my) life, it’s something that many people, including myself would never have predicted even a year ago”. We wish Patrick all the best in his ‘awesome’ adventure.
Mariana Pozzi Guimarães’2016 was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania and selected for the Huntsman Program. This is a program in which students work towards a dual degree. It is a unique, four-year interdisciplinary undergraduate course of study that integrates business education, advanced language training and a liberal arts education. Within the program there is a language target and Mariana’s is Spanish. She will study a semester abroad in a Spain!