Capstone Reflection

Filip Carnogursky - Brazil

June 7, 2018


Just before I came to Brazil, I bought a new camera, for which I worked two weeks. This price made me extremely dedicated to using it. And bet, I did! After sorting out all my pictures and videos, there was about 4000 left of them. During my time in Brazil, I didn’t have the most positive attitude towards social media. My priority was to enjoy everything that was happening there, be at the moment, and not to show that on social media. Thus I shared only a few of them. Now, being home, plenty of people ask me how my year was, how is Brazil, what did I do there. At these moments, I often intuitively reach for my camera which is always with me, and as I explain, I make a little presentation of my pictures and videos. I found this extremely helpful. That’s why, I decided to make up for my absence on social media, and make this video to show at least a part of how my year in Brazil, Florianópolis was.
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Andy Warhol famously said: “A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual diary.” I don’t dare to compare myself to this arts giant, but I can confidently say that this is also the way I look at photos. As I was working on this video, I was scrolling nostalgically up and down through all my pictures, wondering how can I best show what I did in Brazil.  Since I took at least a picture every second day, upon seeing any given picture, it immediately reminded how was I doing at that time.
First of all, I can confidently conclude that I had lots of happy moments. Most of them were happy. This strikes me because at the beginning I wasn’t completely content with my decision to come to Brazil and to participate in the program. I expected too much. I expected to have a perfect year, to live in a constant adventure, to surf every day, to have plenty of Brazilian friends immediately, to have a great life. All these expectations made me blunted. I looked only for these aspects of the program, subconsciously ignoring the other ones. I rated my time mainly on my expectations. This was a big mistake. In addition to all this stress, I was applying to universities, which made me twice as nervous about my time in Brazil.
The turning point came when I let go what I expected and opened my eyes towards what I am offered with. I had a great family, with an incredible cultural background, where I immediately joined their culturally active life. I joined their folkloric theatre club, Boi de mamão, where we met, sang, danced and so rehearsed for the next performance. Through them, I got to a theatre where we performed in front of 900 people twice, and I also played the tambourine in a typical Carnival Parade. These are only a few of the examples which opened to me, once I adapted to my new life when instead of thinking about what I wanted to do before my arrival, I rather thought of what I can do right now. If we focus to fulfil our expectations, we rob ourselves of great opportunities which arise when we forget these expectations. These made my time in Brazil amazing.
I might not be a good surfer right now, but I have a close community there, where I know I can always come back in the same way I come back home.
I am incredibly thankful for that!


Filip Carnogursky