Zena Tahhan (BSJ14 NUQ)

“One of my best experiences was filming a documentary with three of my fellow peers and professor Andrew Mills in Rio De Janeiro, about the struggle of a community who had made a living out of picking and selling garbage to recycling companies from open-air dumps. The municipality of Rio de Janeiro at the time was closing these dumps ahead of the 2014 World Cup, with little regard for these people and without having offered any alternatives despite the fact that their livelihood depended on it. We spent two weeks in the dumps – and at one point one of the students fainted from the smell coming out of a large methane gas pipe. It was stressful at the time, but we had a laugh about it later. Being able to go to Rio, work in the field, and tell this community’s story was a life-changing experience. Our documentary was screened at the Al Jazeera documentary film festival.”