10 Spørgsmål til Malayna Raftopoulos-Chavarría (UK)
Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Society, Associate Professor, The Faculty of Social Sciences, DIR – Research Centre on Development and International Relations
1 Describe yourself in 3 words
Adventurous, fun, sociable
2 What did you want to be as a kid?
I wanted to be a lawyer and only changed my mind when I was applying for my bachelor degree. Instead I decided to study International Development and Spanish because I wanted to travel and see the world.
3 What are you professionally most proud of?
Receiving my PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2013. It was one of the moments in my life when I felt a huge sense of both personal and professional achievement.
4 If you won 10 million kroner, what would you do?
Set up my own NGO to support environmental activists and organisations around the world and buy a second home in Malaga by the sea.
5 What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you?
I decided spontaneously to take a bus across the border to Brazil from Argentina to see the Iguazu waterfalls from the Brazilian side with only 20 dollars in my pocket and my passport. Luckily nothing happened and I was able to cross back into Argentina with some change in my pocket.
6 Who, dead or alive, would you like to meet the most?
I would really like to meet the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. I really like her paintings which were heavily influenced by Mexicanidad, a movement which emerged in resistance to the cultural inferiority imposed on indigenous cultures by colonialism in Mexico. I saw an exhibition last year at the V&A museum in London last year of a collection of her personal artefacts and clothing that had been locked away for 50 years after her death, she was a remarkable woman and had a fascinating life.
7 What’s the worst thing about your job?
The number of different things we have to do in a day. Although I really enjoy my job, I never get time to focus just on one thing. However, it is also what makes it so interesting.
8 What’s your favourite food?
I really like Indian food as I am a fan of spicy food (I miss the curry houses in London a lot)
9 What animal would you like to be?
I would like to be a snow leopard. Not only are they magnificent animals with amazing senses due to their ability to hunt in the night and roaming around in the mountains but they also hold a lot of symbolism and meaning in many cultures.
10 What’s your current project?
Comparing countries from the Global North and the Global South, my current research project analyses how the anti-fracking movement has emerged as a powerful citizen platform in response to the fracking boom with an ability to mobilise large numbers, change public sentiment and government opinion, as well as challenge powerful actors. It looks at how anti-fracking movements go beyond resistance to fracking and are engaged in political struggles over identity, social relations and collective control over resources. Moreover, it also examines how anti-fracking movements are questioning the political-economic system which, even in the face of global climate collapse, claims here are no viable alternatives to fossil fuels and endless economic growth and are drawing attention to the need for social and environmental justice.