Ventana 4 is organised by a diverse group of postgraduates and early-career-researchers from different latitudes of the world and covering a wide range of disciplines. We have been brought together by our common interest in decolonisation and by the shared inner contradiction of coming from the global margins but studying within the dominant European epistemic system. We aim to explore that contradiction and challenge homogenized approaches to knowledge, and we are hoping you will join us in this quest.
Yael Anahí López Torres is a Mexican PhD researcher at the University of York, UK. She specialises in democratisation, civil society, criminal violence, governance and policy implementation. Her interest in these areas comes from 2010 when she joined to the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in Mexico (PGR). She has volunteered for Amnesty International in Mexico and has taught at the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education.
She has been Academic Coordinator for the Project Ventana Conference since 2020. She holds an MA in International Relations (IR) at the University of York and a degree in IR by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Lynda Zeroukhi holds a PhD degree in Postcolonial Gender Studies from the University of Leeds. Her thesis is on the (Re-)construction of Gender in Postcolonial Foreign Language Textbooks in Algeria.
She is currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Languages, Cultures, and Societies at Leeds University. Her primary research interests are postcolonial textbooks, postcolonial theory, gender theory, nationalism, gender representation and (re-) construction, colonial legacy, decolonising gender in textbooks, and decoloniality.
She worked in academic and non-academic fields as a freelance interpreter, academic proofreader and editor, and administrative assistant at a cyber security consultancy.
She received her MA with distinction in Languages, Cultures, and Media Studies from the University of Mouloud Mammeri in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, as well as a BA in English Civilisation and Literature from the same institution.
Her PhD research in one of the top ten universities in the UK was fully funded by the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education.
Tobías Palma Stade is a Chilean-Italian filmmaker, researcher, storyteller, and musician, and part of the Ventana Team since its second version in 2019. He recently survived his PhD in Interactive and Immersive Storytelling in the University of York, against all odds and a global pandemic.
For the next stage of his career, he is hoping to incorporate decolonial narratives into digital storytelling. He is currently working as PDRA in the Digital Creativity Labs in York, exploring the potential of immersive narratives to increase empathy and engagement in fundraising campaigns.
He is also following a diploma in masculinities and gender perspectives, which involves a lot of reading and re-learning. It's actually a lot of fun.
Sofia Scaff is Brazilian and is currently doing a master's in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of York and Universidad de Oviedo in an Erasmus Mundus Program.
She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Behavioural Analysis. During her career, she's worked in several public mental health institutions and NGOs in Brazil with vulnerable populations. Alongside these activities, she's also worked in the private sector in roles related to Human Resources focusing on Diversity and Inclusion practices.
Her current research interests involve the dynamics between social media, technology and society, always with a gendered, classed and decolonized approach within the frameworks of Psychology and Sociology.
Victoria Vargas Downing is a Chilean art historian, heritage researcher and PhD candidate at Leeds University. She holds a BA in Fine Theory and History of Art at the University of Chile, a Curating Diploma and MA in Arts Management and Heritages studies, also at Leeds University.
She has participated in art projects in Chile, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles CA, Vienna, Belgrade and the UK. She has worked as teacher and research assistant in different projects and art organisations in Chile (museums, galleries and non-profit organisations). She is interested in the relationship between contemporary art and heritage from decolonial perspectives.
Andrea Rebeca Vásquez González is a Chilean geographer and currently a PhD researcher at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK. Her research is about the intergenerational communication of the lived experience of risk on spaces exposed to natural hazards, and the impact this communication has on the family preparedness plans to face future disasters. By exploring how children use immersive technologies to communicate the experience of risk and safety in hazardous environment to their parents, her thesis also questions how the use of immersive technology mediates the relationship with the space.
Katherina Walper is a Chilean English as a Foreign Language Teacher Trainee at Universidad Austral de Chile in the South of Chile.
She completed her PhD in Language and Communication at the University of York in 2019. Her thesis explored interaction in Chilean English Language classrooms with focus on the role of the body (that is, gestures, gaze, body and material artefacts) in the teaching-learning process.
She is also a Bach flower therapist and Reiki practitioner and has now started piloting a project using Bach Flowers to support university students in their return to face-to-face classes and in their adjustment to university responsibilities and university life.
She was the first organiser of the Ventana Conference in 2017 and has now rejoined the organising committee. She is thrilled to see how this community has grown!
Patricia Lagos is currently a PhD candidate in Research in Education at the Centre for Research in Human Flourishing, School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK. Her thesis' focus is on the impact of neoliberal educational policies on the mental health of schoolteachers.
She got a Master's in Education Research at the Universidad Autonóma de Barcelona, Spain. Born in Santiago, Chile, Patricia has over fifteen years of experience working as a teacher in primary and secondary schools and as a head of a department in Higher Education institutions. Her main interest are education's psychological and social aspects, focusing on educational policies, mental health and well-being, and vulnerable environments in public schools.
She has been a co-organiser of the project Ventana Conference: A window onto Latin America, since 2018, and an active member of the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS).
She has been awarded twice with a scholarship by the Chilean government to study abroad for a master's degree and a PhD programme.