Team Ventana

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.

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 part of the Ventana Team since its second version in 2019. He's currently a Lecturer in Multimedia Production at the University of Arts London, after surviving his PhD in Interactive and Immersive Storytelling in the University of York, against all odds and a global pandemic. 

For the current stage of his career, he is incorporating decolonial narratives into digital storytelling. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre IGDC of the University of York, where he works on the production of VR documentaries on postcolonial experiences in the north of England. He also teaches filmmaking and digital culture in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies in the same university.

He recently finished a diploma in masculinities and gender perspectives, which involved a lot of reading and re-learning.

When he's not pretending to be an intellectual, he plays the bass in band of cumbia and in a band of salsa, merengue and bachata, attends salsa classes, and tries his best not to buy more books (and fails).

Dihia Chougar is a social sciences lecturer and learning advisor. She holds a PhD degree in postcolonial literature and performance studies from the University of Leeds. Her thesis is on Resistance Performed in Algerian and South African Postcolonial Literature.


Her areas of expertise are Francophone and African studies, narrative performance, narrative performance of resistance, postcolonial narrative performance, performative pragmatics, camouflage and double identities, Post[De]colonialism. Her research interests are postcolonial/decolonial theories, narrative performance.


She aims to take postcolonial African literature beyond the confines of narrativity into performance to renew the traditional discipline. Her research invites readers to consider their performative potential, and the performative quality of narratives.

Yael Anahí López Torres is a Mexican PhD researcher at the University of York, UK. Her research interests are democratisation, conflict, civil society, gender-based violence and policy implementation. She has been a public servant at the Agency of Criminal Investigation at the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in Mexico.

She has volunteered for Amnesty International in Mexico and has taught at the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education. 

Since 2020, she has been Academic Coordinator for the project Ventana Conference and has worked in the evolution of the project, which includes a decolonial approach 'from' the margins. She studied a MA in International Relations at the University of York and she did a BA in the same subject at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

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.

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!

Luqman Muraina started a Global Development PhD programme at the IGDC, University of York, UK in 2023. Luqman completed his MA Sociology degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2022 with funding from the Mastercard Foundation and was a pioneer B.Sc. Sociology First Class degree holder from Olabisi Onabanjo University. 

Luqman researches on decolonization, higher education, African politics & development, black feminism, etc. Luqman has over three years of teaching and research assistantship experience and affiliations to UCT, University of Lagos, and Igbinedion University. Luqman has published six peer-reviewed articles, amongst other opinion contents. 

He advocates on marginalisation and injustice issues, including Black/African and Palestinian cause. He dreams of an African continent that can stand tall amongst other nations and a world free from inequalities, imperialism, social injustices, and violence.

Born and raised in Mexico, Verónica Lira is currently a student of the MA Women's and Gender Studies at the University of York and the University of Granada. She is also a GEMMA Erasmus Mundus scholar. 

Veronica has a BA in International Relations (2018) from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico with a Minor in Government and Public Transformation from Yale University in the US.  

In 2019 she co-authored and edited a book for teenage students in vulnerable schools in Mexico regarding gender violence, feminism, and sexuality. In addition, during her professional life, she has worked as a consultant for a high-profile risk consultancy both in Mexico and the UK, as well as co-led several DE&I programmes and workshops in the private sector. Veronica has been invited as a speaker to several college and undergraduate institutions to talk about gender-based violence and feminism; and as a writer for US-based magazines. 

Her research interests include gender violence, sexual violence, the body and trauma, and the security of women in Latin America.

Lizett Paola Lopez Bajo is a Colombian PhD student at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. My research interests are protest and social movements, specially woman’s movements in Latin-American, political participation of women and black feminism.  I have a master’s degree in political sciences from Flacso-Ecuador (2016), I have worked in universities in Colombia as a professor and academic coordinator. I am also a Feminist activist in the Campaign for legal, free and safe abortion-Colombia.