Hello All!

My name is Olga Kochkareva, as you may have guessed from the name of this blog, and I am a first year student at UBC, hoping to major in Geography with Environment and Sustainability. This will be the first of many blog posts depicting my  journey through the mysterious and colourful continent and history that is Latin America.

I have recently been watching some of my peers’ videos from other years, and have narrowed down on my personal favourites and ones that didn’t blow me away. I believe that it is always smart to begin on a good note, so with that, my favourite video was ‘Towards an Uncertain Future’ by Hanna Dandarell and Cody Alba, closely followed by ‘The Meeting of Two Worlds: Aztec Edition’ by Sophie Chevalier, Michelle Marin, Elena Munk, and Christiana Tse.

Towards an Uncertain Future 

This video captured my attention from the start. The interesting use of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico to introduce the video is a unique way of beginning what turns into a slightly more politicised debate, allowing a gentler entrance. The informative, yet not dull procession of events was further supported by the use of real images and media streams, which allowed me to connect in a more personal way with the statements. The unifying theme of ‘Exit, Voice and Loyalty’ was ideal in bringing my attention back to the subject after small tangents were pursued, including the rhetorical questions which pushed my own boundaries.

The Meeting of Two Worlds: Aztec Edition

The slight playful and simple animations in this video excellently allowed me to further question the controversial topic of colonisation that this video explored. It was refreshing to be taken down the road of a different, lesser known perspective of the Aztecs themselves at the loss of their empire, with the recognition of inconsistencies in the history remaining a good acknowledgement of lost civilisation. I enjoyed the comparison between the two seemingly unrelated cultures. Overall, the short and sweet video captivated me and left me questioning – in a good way.

Unfortunately, there were two videos which I felt could have been done slightly better, including ‘The Meeting of Two Worlds III’ by Angela Pope, Ishan Gill, Deone Young, and Francisco Botero, and ‘Commerce, Coercion and America’s Empire’ by Mitchell McLeod and Hannah Smith.

The Meeting of Two Worlds III

This video had a good core, but did not present itself well. I found the information provided to be generic and it did not leave me questioning my own understanding of the controversial situation of colonisation. My minds eye easily wandered as the repeating, static images did nothing to keep me hooked, and often appeared to be taken from unrelated cartoons or old paintings – a contrast with little flow.

Commerce, Coercion and America’s Empire

The first thing that crossed my mind whilst watching this video was ‘what on earth is that blue copyright symbol doing there’. However simple the issue, it came across as a bad beginning, which affected my entire perception of the video. The content was good, but it would have been nice to have had more enthusiasm in the relaying of information – I found myself checking the time bar a few times to see whether I was almost finished.

Overall I was very pleased with the standard and content of the videos, and despite the few issues, would happily watch them again!

I look forward to seeing you again – Over and Out!