Defying the Odds in Rural Colombia? A podcast by Daniela Hernández Silva


Daniela Hernández Silva, student of GLOBED fourth cohort, was one of the four winners at FreshEd Flux, a series where graduate students turn their research interests into narrative-based podcasts.

In the first episode of Flux, “Defying the Odds in Rural Colombia?”, Daniela takes listeners on a journey to a faraway place in the Colombian countryside. Here, reality is transformed. She uses magical realism to create a composite character called Jose. Jose gives voice to the hundreds of people Daniela spoke with during her five-years of ethnographic fieldwork.

By raising Jose’s voice and listening to what he has to tell us, Daniela offers an alternative reading of Escuela Nueva, the award-winning rural education program founded in Colombia. She challenges policy assumptions about rural education in Colombia as a way to begin to change the narrative. Daniela also questions academic conventions and critiques the legitimacy of academic knowledge over local experience.

The podcast was written, edited, and produced by Daniela Hernández Silva and can be listened here or on Freshed’s Spotify channel. And so it begins…

“Sometimes reality seems more like fiction. Sometimes, I listen to stories that I wish, with all of my heart, were fanciful. Sometimes, what some people experience on a daily basis doesn’t fit with other’s preconceptions of the possible. […]

Sometimes, because we haven’t experienced them, or because their reality is too harsh to comprehend, it is easier to consign the stories of others to the realm of the unreal and to judge the things we can’t understand. Sometimes, we arm ourselves with rationality in order to resist the path towards empathy. And sometimes that leads us to criticisms, to division… to war.”



After the launch of Daniela’s episode, the Globed student could talk with Will Brehm, creator and host of the FreshEd platform. During the conversation, Daniela gives more insights about today’s educational context in Colombia, and shares her opinion about the fitting of the Escuela Nueva model of rural education.