For Heroes Only

by Gia Cästello

I’ve been in Rio de Janeiro for the last two weeks with Kennia from México City in a fellowship organized by Gênero e Número & Chicas Poderosas. The main goal was to work in this month’s theme of analysis inside Gênero e Número, regarding gender violence that does not end up in femicide. Sounds interesting, right? It has been. A lot. Here’s what happened:

What did you learn?

I learned to understand how the process to work with data journalism takes place. We attended a pitch made by the collaborative space data labe, located in a Favela, where 5 young journalists attend a programe to learn about data journalism, and developing their own projects. That day they were pitching all they have learnt, preparing themselves to replicate it to another 15 young journalists. AWESOME experience. AWESOME project. AWESOME people. You have to be there to actually see what these dudes are doing, and how empowered they are. It is beyond inspiring. Learn, and replicate the knowledge with others.

I have also learnt about the Gênero e Número cuisine of journalism and their way of working with a rigorous analysis of data covering gender issues. I talked a lot with Giuliana (editor at GeN) about it. This was the first time I was working with data, and I was eager to learn more. Every day. All the time. And luckily I did.

Natalia, the data goddess at GêN offered a complete workshop on how to ‘interview’ data sheets. It was beyond amazing. Approximately 30 people attended the workshop that took place at Casa Pública. There were journalists, programmers and investigators from different fields and organizations.

How was the experience?

It was vast and rich in different aspects. From the moment I took a step in Rio, eu adorei tudo! The fellowship was empowering, and I have now another set of cool tools in my backpack, new information to share with others back home. Kennia and I also enjoyed the local gastronomy, and we both went crazy about the museums in the city (Museu de Arte Moderno and Museu de Arte Contemporáneo were all about contemporary brazilian artists, O Museu da Amanha with interactive experiences, and we even saw Picasso and Mondrian retrospectives with more than 100 paintings each!). And don’t even get me started with the breathtaking beaches! I could not have wished for more. The experience was fascinating.

What did you work in?

While at GêN was preparing a full report about domestic violence in Brazil, Kennia and I were working on a panorama in the rest of Latin America. On one report, we made an analysis about:

  • Which countries in LatAm have a public organism that represent woman
  • Which countries in LatAm have laws that protect women
  • Which countries in LatAm have a definition of femicide and what does this term stand for in each country.
  • Which countries in LatAm have reports and open data about statistics of gender violence.

On another report, we worked compiling the government states in LatAm that have been attended by the Inter-American commission of human rights regarding gender violence. We drew a timeline from the neverending debate and benefits of fighting for it through time.

Reading “o habitante irreal” by Paulo Scott at Arpoador, RJ.

Main key learnings you take away

  • Data journalism principles and workflow.
  • Best ways to take information from data sheets.
  • How is the process of work for an organization that covers gender issues (politically, ethically and working with testimonies of people exposed to traumatic situations) I had a deep talk with María bout this. She is in charge of the audiovisual department at GêN.

(I’ve also learnt that I can read books in Portuguese. I was afraid because of the time it could take me to read a book about an activist that falls in love with an indian and both have a kid but afterwards she suicides herself and the son is adopted by some filmmakers and make him all intellectual and stuff. Anyways. Succeeded. After that, I bought another which am reading now, and a third one to take home.)

Something to share with others

A todos los que estén leyendo este post y hayan llegado hasta aquí, les propongo que salgan y compartan lo que saben con alguien más. De la misma manera, pregunten todo lo que quieran saber. Documenten sus procesos de pensamiento, todos cambiamos de forma de pensar constantemente, los maduramos y los rompemos. Es parte del proceso de creación. El flujo de información y el debate colectivo es clave al momento de modelar proyectos más sustentables, sostenibles y rentables. Hay muchas cosas interesantes ahí afuera. Y mucha gente dispuesta a colaborar o a recibir colaboración. For the ones who do not get spanish, go and get a Spanish dictionary. It could be the first step to get involved with a very very interesting language.

The term comes from the conjunction of “solitude” and “greet”, which describes the feeling of the one who waits for the return of the departed, associated with nostalgia. The origin of the word is directly linked to the Portuguese maritime tradition. The word “saudade” only exists in the Portuguese language. There are also similar words of similar meanings, which in any case do not fully cover the meaning of the word saudade. It is the case of the Polish word “tęsknota” and the Romanian word “pain”. In English, although there is no noun equivalent to “saudade”, the verb “to miss” is used, such as: “I miss you”, relating the sense of lack and loss, as well as expressions such as “longing” and “homesick” .

Something more or less like this:

About ‘For Heroes Only’: If you ever go to Casa Pública, that’s the wifi’s password 😉

Originally published at

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