Late June
This 2-week Spanish Media 60-hour workshop combines in-class instruction with a hands-on production workshop. It is ideal for anyone wanting to experience Buenos Aires’ urban culture in depth and create a visual travel journal. Students who have taken semester or intensive courses may wish to add this workshop in order to extend their stay and go for a fun experiential learning project with an academic purpose. Students will gain first-hand experience of culture related with immigration and national identity; race, class, gender, and economic inequality; politics, graffiti art and popular culture; urban and environmental planning. 

The workshop will use the urban experience to enhance students’ awareness, responsiveness and communication skills by grounding formal education in “realworld” experiences. Using the language of social media, mainly film, photography and podcast, as a lens to explore and interpret various aspects of experience in Buenos Aires, this workshop will guide students through a series of short daily assignments that they will build into a dossier of different visual and audio exercises. The routine of posting a short paragraph every day in response to a prompt will help students become more fluent in Spanish and sharper observers. Real engagement with the environment entails noticing things that are not pretty but will definitely influence our perception of the city. Students will cooperate with classmates in making a creative film about Buenos Aires and giving peer feedback on other students’ projects. The 10-minute documentary will be shot and edited with the students’ own smartphones or tablets. At the end of the course, students will screen their work and engage in critiques and discussion with their classmates and instructor. 

The course requires the active participation of all students. Significant production and post-production hours outside of class time are necessary, and students are expected to walk around the city and interview people in order to complete the assignments. The purpose of this workshop is to use the “innocent” eye of students to unveil lesser-known features of Buenos Aires through their own lived experiences and those of the local urban dwellers. Putting these experiences into Spanish will help students appreciate cities from a new perspective, promoting cultural understanding during these key formative years.