Born and raised in Italy, I grew up listening to stories of my grand-grandfather who, as many other Italians, emigrated to the then almost depopulated Argentina to seek for a better future (away from Fascism). Nevertheless, it was the direct contact with the Latin American region that made me feel the urge to know more and more about it.
Thus, I decided to undertake a BA in International Relations and Spanish (University of Sussex), and to spend my Year Abroad at the Universidad de Cádiz, where I could focus on Latin American history from pre-Colombian cultures to more contemporary issues like the Chavist Revolution in Venezuela.
As I also got progressively more interested in the Politics of Food, I then decided to explore the topic further at Oxford by writing coursework essays on, for example, how healthy and “green” food outlets are leading to gentrification in Mexico City, or by joining the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching & Learning (IFSTAL), where I could research the issue of avocado production and organized crime in Michoacán.
Drawing from the same topic, I wrote my dissertation on the way autodefensa groups are and have been perceived online, particularly on Facebook, using a methodology called “netnography”.
Then, as soon as the Master’s ended, I began a Summer Internship at the Universidad Anáhuac Mayab (Mérida) where I worked with a team of students and experts to develop a sustainable development project aimed at tackling a specific issue, identified through fieldwork in the community, in the Maya comisaría of Xcunyá (Yucatán). As a result of these life-changing weeks spent in Mexico, my greatest goal right now is to return to Mérida and embark on more research projects that revolve around the preservation of Maya traditions, [food] customs and languages in Yucatán together with the experts I met this summer.