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Antonia Barradas, a Human Rights Advocacy Advisor, talks about the CHRA Summer School

Updated: May 29, 2022

Antonia Barradas, a Human Rights Advocacy Advisor, talks about how a multidisciplinary curriculum is one of the key highlights of the CHRA Summer School

Describe a little about yourself

My name is Antonia Barradas. I am a fully trained lawyer and currently an Advocacy Advisor with a PhD in Justice, Citizenship, Democratisation and Gender Equality. I am the Head of Barradas Direitos Humanos, a Human Rights Advocacy Office in Lisbon, Portugal. We focus on human rights projects and public policy advice as well as corporate social responsibility, gender equality training, human rights advocacy training and educational programmes.

Why did you decide to attend CHRA 2021?

I was approached by a group of victims of the Angola Massacre (May 27th 1977) for my legal perspective. I realised I was less familiar with the advocacy and human rights aspects that were an inherent part of the case and what I needed was a better understanding of the intersection of the three disciplines. The Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy Summer School was the perfect course to acquire a multidisciplinary interactive perspective between the legal aspect and the documentary and academic parts of my case.

How did you hear of the Summer School?

I am an ex MA graduate in Human Rights and Democratisation at the European Inter-University Centre (EIUC) in Venice, Italy. I have, on occasion, taught sessions at the graduate programme as part of the Cluster of Human Rights Defenders - a seminar on sexual violence in conflict at the Venice School for Human Rights Defenders. I heard about the Summer School through the Global Campus Newsletter. I would have never imagined that a person with a legal background could participate but I joined and it has been an incredibly useful experience for the development of my project as well as to further my career aspirations. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to expand my professional network and connect with inspiring people.

Describe your experience with the Summer School? What did you enjoy most?

The best part of the course was its intensity and multiformity. Participants from diverse backgrounds with different course objectives were all able to find something that suited their needs due to the mix between the Biennale Film Festival and the different programme activities making the overall experience even more enriching. By attending the lectures, practical workshops, film screenings and discussions with directors from the Film Festival, I learned the importance of advocacy for my project and how vital it is to be able to provide different points of view and alternative means to advocate for my work going forward. It is an experience that I will never forget.

Would you recommend this experience to a friend?

Yes, definitely and in particular for those in the legal field. For me this experience has been very stimulating intellectually, and demanding but also wonderful and enriching.

Were you able to leverage the student network for future professional development?

Due to the intensity of the programme and the fact I was working during the course, I didn’t have much time to socialise with my fellow students. But having said that, I have stayed in touch with a couple of film directors where we consult each other on different projects and this has been extremely beneficial.

What skills and competences do you think you’ve gained throughout the course? Have you used these new skills and competences in your personal or professional development?

Thanks to the diverse programme of activities and the frank feedback from expert lecturers, today I am far more confident in working on matters such as supporting victims and incorporating perspectives from film directors and academics in my legal work. I also have a far greater understanding about advocacy in these contexts.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years time I see myself retiring on a tropical island. But realistically, I probably see myself continuing to teach and develop the human rights aspects of my work while expanding my work within the charity sector in a leadership position rather than in a more executive role which I hold now.


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