Sugyn Quintana is a fairly new addition to our big network of correspondents. In the beginning of 2022, she rolled into it and immediately started making stories for Metropolis. Since she became part of the Metropolis network last year, she already deliverd four stories. Originally she is from Venezuela, but lives in Argentina. Her unique view on the country results in beautiful stories from a different perspective.

Originally Sugyn is from Venezuela, but she is living in Argentina since 2015. "I started working as a journalist in Venezuela, where I worked at a news agency and researched for different tv-programs," Sugyn tells us. "When I moved to Argentina it was difficult to continue as a journalist because I didn’t know anybody as an immigrant. For the first year and a half I started doing other jobs like working as an Uber driver. But I also worked on my own projects as a documentary filmmaker.

When I was contacted by some Argentinian and international media platforms, I started working as a freelance journalist again. A new chapter in my journey as a journalist. I could make items about issues that I like to talk about; feminism, gender, human rights. Then, one year ago, I was contacted by the Metropolis team."

How did Metropolis find you?

"I don’t really know. I think they were looking for new correspondents in Latin America and they found me through my LinkedIn profile. They asked me if I was interested in working with Metropolis as an Argentinian correspondent. We immediately started with the Russian episode. We had to do it very fast because it was an urgent assignment, but it turned out really good. The place where we filmed is in my neighbourhood, so I immediately thought about it when I heard Metropolis was looking for Russian communities. The food from the restaurant in that story is so good, it’s out of this world."

Is it easy for you to approach the people you want to make a story on?

"I always get a connection with the people I work with. When I make a story for Metropolis, the people either were my friends before or they become my friends after. The transgender tattoo artist from the Safe Spaces episode already was my friend. When I got the opportunity to make a story about gender, I immediately thought of him and he was enthusiastic."

What’s your favorite item so far?

"The one from Safe Spaces, about my friend the tattoo artist, but also the story about going back to school. It’s a story about a teacher who teaches 27 kids in her own school in the middle of nowhere. She has to travel two days to get from her house to her school, it’s very special. For me to be able to capture her story, I had to travel two days and 500 kilometers as well. First, we travelled 300 kilometers by bus, then spend the night and the day after travel another 150 kilometers with another bus.

The last part of the road is impossible to get to by car so you had to take a horse, donkey or walk. We travelled by horse. It was hard, because we didn’t have water, food and it’s a long trip. But it’s also one of the best experiences I had last year. To go on this trip but also getting to know Amalia, the teacher. She was very kind and lovely and I loved what she was like with her students. What she does; it’s about passion. I tried to capture her passion and love for the kids."

Sugyn filming at the school.

You’re also quite passionate to go through all that to capture a story. Why do you like that so much?

"I really like to tell stories. I like to tell real stories about real people and that’s why I love to work for Metropolis. I feel very comfortable and happy telling stories for Metropolis. I think there is one thing that makes the difference for me, that’s that I’m not from Argentina. That means I have another vision on the Argentinian stories, I understand how to explain it from another point of view where you don’t know the country. A point of view that could get through to the Dutch audience. Because most people think about tango and football when they think of Argentina, which is actually quite true, haha."

About football, your newest item is about a gay soccer team, how was the process of making that?

"It was very challenging because it was hard to get their trust. One of the most important things of doing my job is to be very respectful to the main characters and to try to gain their trust. Sometimes it’s super easy to make the characters feel comfortable and sometimes it is harder. That is why I have to try my hardest all the time. Because it is very normal for me to be filming people but for the people on camera it may be weird because they are not used to it. That is why I try to make as much effort as I can to make friends with the character first, to get familiar with them and the location. But sometimes that’s just not possible, for example with the story about the teacher in the middle of nowhere, we could only do it one time. So, I had to go and film everything and make the best of the story."

What is the most challenging story you ever made?

"The story for the Birth Control episode. It was about a man who is against abortion rights and he was going to protest in front of a hospital. I was uncomfortable with filming that because I am not anti-abortion. I respect everyone and I know as a journalist sometimes you’re interviewing people that have ideas that are different from yours.

He was a nice person, all the Metropolis characters are nice people, but it was challenging to shoot with him. I saw him pray in front of the hospital and I couldn’t say anything about it because I have to be neutral. There was a lot of commotion and I just did my job and recorded everything that happened. I know it is not the first time I disagree with the main character and it will continue to happen my entire career."

What do you like about working as a video journalist?

"Every project is a new adventure. After every project I do, I get so inspired that I want to make a documentary about it, it happens to me all the time. I like to get to know people, I like to get to know stories and I like to tell stories. I really love this job, the only thing that is challenging is the on-camera presentations. I like to research, I like to write, I like to film, I like to edit, I like to interview, but when I have to be in front of the camera it’s harder. I’m not accustomed to talk in front of the camera - but I put on my Metropolis t-shirt and I try to do my best. I think I’m getting more confident with every project. Also, I do it by myself, with my husband who is my partner and my producer so it’s okay."

Sugyn Quintana, our correspondent in Argentina.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned while working for Metropolis?

"To get more confident about what I do. Because you have to have the whole package. It’s not only what I write, but also how I film. I used to be insecure about it and doubt if what I made was really good while I was filming. It wasn’t until I came home and saw the video’s when I thought: oh, it really is good. Because when I’m filming, I have to be very focused on what’s happening. Sometimes it’s very noisy, sometimes there’s too much people. There’s a lot of things going on, so maybe I get nervous in this process. I started making video’s twenty years ago but this last year I got so much more confident about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it and about the results. Every story I make for Metropolis is a lesson itself."

What is something you still really want to make?

"I would really like to keep making stories for Metropolis. This is the job I really love, working as a documentary filmmaker. I really love to research, write, film and edit the stories and I hope to work with Metropolis for at least five or ten more years. Even if I move to another place, I would still like to keep doing it from there. I’m always looking for new ideas and see things or people that could work as stories for Metropolis."

Other correspondents