Collaborating across the Atlantic

Portuguese scholar and UT RTF student join forces on a documentary

Partnerships can frequently "take some time to develop and for results to emerge," notes Professor Sharon Strover, director of the Technology and Information Policy Institute's Digital Media program that is a focal point of the UT Austin | Portugal collaboration. Despite the real-time speed of such recognizable "results," investing in the cross-pollination of knowledge, skills, and diverse cultural perspectives can frequently pay off in significant ways.

Below is an account from visiting Portuguese scholar, Patrícia Nogueira, on her own experiences of how the UT Austin | Portugal partnership program "opened up opportunities bilaterally."

"The UT Austin | Portugal program forged an amazing opportunity for me and one of the RTF students.

"This past Spring, when I was a visiting scholar at the UT, [Professor] Andrew Garrison was kind enough to let me audit the East Austin Stories class where I met [radio-television-film student] Carlo Nasisse. We immediately got along well and discovered that we shared many interests in film. Through Andy’s intimate guidance, we co-directed a short, experimental documentary, exploring the changing neighborhood of East Austin.

"Since I returned to Porto, we have stayed in touch, and I invited Carlo to be the Director of Photography on a short documentary I directed in Portugal in June. We wrapped shooting in the beginning of July.

"The documentary explores the concept of human displacement. We focused on a family in northern Portugal that will need to move due to the construction of a dam, and within the film, through detailed imagery, they gradually 'disappear,' while their presence is replaced by an empty house inhabited only by their sounds and memories.

"It was a wonderful experience, and hopefully we will keep in touch and work together on future projects."

—Patrícia Nogueira

About the UT Austin|Portugal CoLab program:
A partnership between the Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal (FCT) and The University of Texas at Austin, in conjunction with several Portuguese universities, the UT Austin | Portugal International Collaboraboratory for Emerging Technologies (CoLab) aims to expand the presence of advanced digital media across the nation of Portugal through educational and research exchange.

Staff Writer