Your NameMercedes Gorostiaga
Cohort AssignmentCohort A (Europe, MENA and South America)
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

For the past years, I’ve been working as a multimedia journalist and video editor. My whole career has been based on creating, shaping and being passionate about new media narratives. For the past years I’ve been working for a tv show in New York called The Laura Flanders Show that brings in-depth conversations about racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice. Thanks to this, I was able to learn about new and exciting Nature-based Solutions.
At the moment, I’m in a transitioning moment and at the same time adapting to living in a new country.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

At the moment, I feel very grateful for having the opportunity to still keep learning and growing as a human individual. By living and working in different countries and by reconnecting with my grandmother’s farm in Uruguay, I was able to see forward and imagine a future where I can live in harmony with Mother Earth.
After witnessing the destruction of my grandma’s farm by intensive agriculture, and at the same time, by learning about new regenerative ways of agriculture in different parts of the world, I have come to the conclusion that I can’t live my life denying the state of the world and that I want to dedicate my time in learning these new ways so that in the future I can apply them and pass the knowledge as well.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

My goal is to continue the reforestation project that I’ve started together with my partner Marceau and my family two years ago. We have been reforesting the land with native plants and trees from the region in order to help the biodiversity thrive again. The second step will be to create a school where the kids from the village nearby can come and learn about the native plants from their region. Also, I dream that by doing this, the farmers around us are motivated to do the same in their own farms.
I’ve been able to use my skills as a journalist to document the whole process and for the past years, I’ve been interviewing farmers, botanists and environmental activists from the region, trying to understand the challenges they face today. I hope that my documentary work can be used in the future as an educational medium for people that are looking to do the same.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into my journalism and documentary photography career. But I believe that without my investment in therapy and other ways of personal development this wouldn't mean much. As well, I've invested time and effort in maintaining a healthy relationship with my partner as well as finding new ways of non violent communication.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

A few years ago a therapist told me that I would never be able to help the world if I did not try to heal myself first. I do not believe we, humans, can be healed and then be healers. I believe we are very complex systems that if we want to, we can always be growing, evolving and changing. And that’s how I hope I will be in life.

The work of therapy, mushrooms journeys, tantra and theatre, have been my guides in order to deconstruct my mind and confront my traumas. And thanks to these different types of therapeutical work, I’ve been able to open my heart and establish more meaningful and deeper relationships which I think that’s what we most need today in the world. As I said before, I believe the work is never finish and so, I would like to continue my journey of therapeutical exploration.

I hope that by doing this work, then I will be able to pass my knowledge and take care others as others have taken care of me.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

I’ve been brave and lucky enough in life to try everything I wanted it. Wether it was acting training like the Meisner Technique, which has been a technique that has helped me tap into my creative potential; or doing therapeutical workshops with groups of 20 or more people to discover and work on childhood traumas, I've been able to explore and get lost in new ways of thinking.

Learning and following different activists and artists have also been important in my life. From reading Audre Lorde's poetry, singing Violeta Parra's songs and reading Mona Chollet's books, I was able to connect with my feminist rage and discover my strength as a woman. Going to women’s circles and educating myself about natural gynaecology, have been two ways where I could reconnect with my female power and learn that we are stronger when we are together.

5. And for professional growth?

Regarding my professional life, I would like to learn more about regenerative practices in order to apply this knowledge into my storytelling skills. I would like to continue my work in different NGOs or independent media organisations where I can use my skills and still learn about  alternative and forward thinking systems.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

I've come to the conclusion that I can't continue living my life as if nothing is going on. The world is hurting and I believe is our responsibility to try and make it better. I believe we can't fix what it has been done but we can change the path we've been changing. I think humans, some of them, are realising that our place in the world is being part of it and not trying to dominate it.