Students to create documentary on trip to Iceland

by Laura Gomez / Beacon Staff • February 16, 2012

As part of a public diplomacy project and cultural immersion initiative, five Emerson students who went on a four day trip to Iceland last weekend will be creating a mini-series of webisodes documenting their trip.

Alex Castillo, Heather Corazzini, Kerry Velez, Jeremy Sender, and Christopher Eyer -- also the Beacon’s sports editor -- along with Dr. Gregory Payne, associate professor of the communication department, met members of the Icelandic community and toured some of the nation’s geographical landmarks as part of a trip with the Communication Politics and Law Association and Model United Nations.  

In May of 2011, another delegation of Emerson students went to Iceland and met with various diplomats and officials. This year, the team said they wanted to take the trip a step further and put together a documentary.

Sender, a visual media arts major, contributed his technical skills and film knowledge to capture quality footage, according to Velez.

Castillo,  a senior political communication major, said the documentary will be divided into a miniseries, with each webisode focusing on an aspect of their visit.

He said one will focus on their visit to Parliament and show sociopolitical issues going on in the country, another on the Inspire by Iceland campaign, and the last one on the tourist spots the group visited such as Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysirs, and Art Museum of Reykjavik.

“People who have heard about the project or are curious about it, can go and watch these videos and learn at little bit about Iceland, their culture and their history,” said Castillo. “Emerson places a large emphasis on civic engagement and becoming a global citizen and that’s what this project is at its core.”

Once in the country, CPLA members Velez and Castillo said the leader of the Conservative Party, Godhlaugur Thor Thordharson, greeted the group for a discussion on American politics.

Castillo said the Emerson delegates met with Hlynur Gudjonsson, Emerson graduate and former student of Dr. Payne, who is now the Icelandic Consul for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

They also met with the marketing director of the Inspire by Iceland campaign.

“[Inspire by Iceland] is private public partnership program with the Icelandic government and a marketing agency to increase tourism in the country of Iceland and do cultural outreach,” said Castillo.

Planning for the Iceland trip began when Castillo and Velez took Dr. Payne’s public diplomacy seminar this past fall semester.

Dr. Payne said Castillo and Velez, in coordination with Corazinni, who had participated the Iceland Global trip in May, picked up the project and organized it on their own.
“When people learn about other parts of the world, it not only helps them on a personal level but I also think it helps everybody professionally, to be more globally connected,” said Castillo.