by Bianca Neff, Executive Director
One of the fun surprises about my job is the people who seemingly come out of the woodwork to collaborate. Several colleagues have arisen in the last few months because they believe in the importance of Petra's mission, and their connections have been really critical for us. One of these is a guy from Barcelona named Daniel Fernandez.
Daniel is a Catalan peace activist, artist and filmmaker who is a kindred spirit in the resilience-building work that we do at Petra. In addition to being a Rotary Peace Fellow like myself, he's also a visiting scholar at Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights.
I was in Barcelona with Daniel from October 8-10, 2016 filming an advocacy video that Petra Peacebuilders is producing. In addition to providing support and resources for resilience, burnout prevention and trauma recovery in the peacebuilding sector, at Petra we are also serious about our advocacy role for peacebuilders and humanitarian professionals as it relates to these issues.
We will use this and future videos at promotional and networking events so that our donors, partners and the general public can be as well-informed as possible through our productions with real-life stories of realities in the field.
What a refreshing 3 days of filming and connecting! In addition to filming, Dani also introduced me to some impressive colleagues of his with whom I felt an instant connection, including a high-profile Catalan lawyer and mediator who is open to collaborating as a trainer in future Petra projects. Another couple held me captive with their stories of accompaniment fieldwork with human rights workers in Colombia with Peace Brigades -- wow!
These people are amazing, and I now consider them friends. Not only that, but two of them even allowed me to film them after having just met them (!!) since they recognize the importance that Petra's videos will make in terms of education and advocacy. I'm so very grateful for the whole 3-day experience.
With three new compelling, professionally-filmed clips in the bag for the video production from these fabulous new Barcelona-based contacts, I drove home pondering the implications of these new connections and wondering what kind of positive impact their stories will have on people just like you once the video is released.
And about Daniel: Perhaps his skills and expertise may come in handy for one of your current or future projects? He is a delightful professional to work with, and he has a heart of gold.
Check out his work and feel free to contact him directly!