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Massive educational experiences | Veronica Fiorito | TEDxRiodelaPlataED

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    Every day I work with a team of people
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    that make the impossible happen.
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    To make the tail of a blue whale
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    stick out of the window
    of one of the most iconic buildings
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    in Buenos Aires.
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    To make the girls in my country
    want to be like Juana Azurduy,
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    a heroine of the
    Latin American independence.
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    To make snow fall inside a huge theater
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    over boys and girls
    who had never seen snowing.
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    To make whole families
    come together in front of a screen
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    to learn about the number pi,
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    about Plato's Myth of the Cave,
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    or about the history
    of state-sponsored terrorism
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    with the same interest they used to watch
    an entertainment show before.
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    Things that seemed impossible yesterday
    are transformations today.
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    In my office
    at the Centro Cultural Kirchner,
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    a space dedicated to art and culture,
    I have a window.
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    From there, I invite those
    who visit me to look out with me.
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    That window, for the sky,
    reminds me of my childhood.
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    I'm from San Luis.
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    There you can see the most pristine skies
    and the most beautiful clouds.
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    The first time I looked
    I was not aware of that.
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    I grew up in a house that
    was school as well.
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    A "school home" run by my mom.
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    When I was a girl, from my window
    I'd look at the yard and see a slide.
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    That yard, as well,
    was the school's playground.
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    And the slide wasn't just mine,
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    it was the slide
    of a lot of boys and girls.
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    If I went out into the yard and looked
    inside I'd see my house.
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    But there were also chalks, games, desks.
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    What for others was just a blackboard,
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    for me, it meant the afternoon
    when we had hung it.
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    All the time I witnessed
    a set of actions
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    supported mostly by women:
    mothers, grandmothers, janitors,
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    the best managers of getting things done.
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    For me, learning, playing, doing,
    was always in community.
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    Although at a time of the day
    my house-school ran out of people,
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    in that empty space I knew
    that everything was going to happen again
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    and that the next day my house
    would become something else
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    thanks to the work of all the people
    that made the school possible.
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    I didn't know this at the time,
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    but as a child, I learned to look
    at reality in a different way.
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    I understood it many years later
    when I was called to think about
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    creating Canal Encuentro,
    as part of an educational project.
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    A public television channel.
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    Many of us who started with the channel
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    weren't from the capital of the country.
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    We were coming
    from different provinces:
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    San Luis, Cordoba, Salta, Misiones.
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    And our vision came with us.
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    What we achieved with the team
    of Encuentro, mostly women,
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    was to transform educational television
    through those visions.
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    We created a screen in which each region
    could display their own story.
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    We were used to watching
    boring documentaries,
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    that were zero engaging,
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    with hosts who didn't talk
    like Argentineans,
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    with images from other countries.
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    In Canal Encuentro we started
    to show the face of the teachers
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    and the kids who were attending a school
    in Santiago del Estero,
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    or a rural school
    in Barranqueras, Chaco.
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    Or a kindergarten in Alumine, Neuquen.
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    In half-hour episodes
    we help dignify crafts and trades.
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    We teach how to lay tiles,
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    work on a Criollo loom,
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    install thermal switches,
    and design trousers.
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    We teach philosophy through music.
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    And music with Encuentro in the studio.
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    And science with closeness.
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    A new way to do and watch TV
    was being born.
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    New content, new ways.
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    The channel won prestige and
    the recognition of the audience.
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    Soon afterward, Encuentro managed
    to turn public audiovisual production
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    into a tool for raising
    appreciation and inclusion.
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    Showing another possible image
    of this that we are as a nation.
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    Something had changed in Argentina
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    in the conception of public policy
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    and that transformation
    was also happening on TV.
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    They were years of huge energy,
    of great learning,
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    of a great work synergy
    and collective creation
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    that allowed us to produce
    quality content.
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    Thanks to Encuentro
    we could create another channel.
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    This time for children: PakaPaka.
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    PakaPaka, the power of imagination,
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    was the result of the work
    of many, highly talented people.
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    Producers, educators,
    screenwriters, performers,
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    cartoonists, editors, animators,
    public workers.
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    In this project,
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    we focused on three privileged areas
    for transformation:
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    childhood, education and culture.
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    We put the kids at the center.
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    The secret was that,
    from the public space, from the state,
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    and from an educational project,
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    we worked every day
    producing for inclusion,
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    educating for equality,
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    and providing access
    to quality content.
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    A few years later, I was able to take
    to San Luis all that experience.
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    That's how Juan and Pascual were born,
    two animated characters, twins,
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    who talked like me,
    eat watermelon like me,
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    have siesta,
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    and are friends with a squirting wind
    that blows very hard.
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    From this cross-platform project
    Juan and Pascual
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    made our boys and girls
    from San Luis
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    learn from their own experience,
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    with the landscapes, the history,
    and the skies that surround them.
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    All this seemed impossible.
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    Creation through art and culture
    can lead to collective transformation.
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    It's not about personal talent.
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    What I learned at my home-school
    when I was a child, marked my way.
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    I would look at the empty space
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    and I knew that this space
    could be transformed again.
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    Thanks to that community of women
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    I learned that when a team of people
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    works with conviction and commitment
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    the impossible becomes possible.
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    Since the pandemic arrived to Argentina,
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    I go to work every day
    to the Centro Cultural Kirchner.
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    Today, where the whale came out
    through the window, is empty.
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    It lacks their culture workers,
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    the visitors, the artists, the community.
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    I look through that window
    and I see a city in pause.
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    In pause, I go back to my life.
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    I repeat all the time the same action
    for as long as I can remember
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    as if I were a camera myself.
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    I see those who surrounded me
    in that house, in that yard,
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    those who had to have a place
    in TV productions
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    that were until then denied.
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    Those who teamed up with me
    and made it possible.
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    My job is to look at others
    see their potential,
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    that spark that turns them on,
    the one we get together
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    and from where we build together.
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    This empty space presents us
    a new opportunity,
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    a unique challenge to make, to create.
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    Once again we can
    make the impossible possible.
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    Let's build a future full of encounters
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    with new stories told in our voices,
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    let's transform reality again,
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    being freer, closer, more humane.
Title:
Massive educational experiences | Veronica Fiorito | TEDxRiodelaPlataED
Description:

In recent years there has been an explosion of educational audiovisual content, which makes children and teachers feel included. Veronica was one of the protagonists of this and tells us how some of those changes happened. She is the creator of cultural and educational experiences. After working in film and television production and directing, she was director of Canal Encuentro and PakaPaka where she developed content such as "The Amazing Zamba Excursion" that transcended the screen to become musicals, theme parks, museums, magazines, toys, video games, and more formats. She also participated in the creation of a university in the Province of San Luis, her hometown. She is currently the director of the Kirchner Cultural Center.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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Video Language:
Spanish
Team:
TED
Project:
TEDxTalks
Duration:
07:37

English subtitles

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