by Germán Alejandro Linzer, 2013-2014 President Néstor Kirchner Fellow
What did the PNK fellowship mean for me? An incredible opportunity, a challenge and a responsibility. I will try to explain my answer contextualizing the fellowship from my point of view.
Nestor Kirchner was not only the president who led the most important development process in the history of Argentina, but also was a person with a firm conviction on the Latin America union: he opposed to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (ALCA); relaunched the MERCOSUR and was the first Secretary General of UNASUR.
Why then carry forward a fellowship in a city that is considered the "empire state", far from the Latin American interests?
My answer is that that it is precisely the reason.
The Observatory on Latin America (OLA) in the New School University is a place opened to discuss the a new role for Latin America; ready to listen new South American voices and that invites Presidents and personalities from Latin America to express their own ideas in the U.S. without restrictions or conditions.
Those of us who applied for de PNK fellowship are not academics, but people who are involved in public services. Our perspective arises in part from our studies, but mainly from the challenges of our experiences. So, for us the theoretical or analytical proposals that we discuss in the experience of our fellowship is way to overcome practical problems in benefit of our countries.
In that sense, the PNK Fellowship offers the opportunity to present and discuss our ideas and proposals with specialists who do research in the New School University, but who are from all around the world. That is the incredible opportunity that I mentioned above.
But it will be also a challenge because the moment that is living Latin America seems to be unique. So, the possibility to contribute with Latin American autonomous thinking is now. In that sense, the meetings and the seminars are a possibility to reformulate our work overcoming its weaknesses and reinforcing its strengths. At the end come the Public Lecture, what will be the possibility to show the entire process of learning and to transmit effectively our (South American) ideas and point of view. And that, believe me, is a completely responsibility.
Buenos Aires, December, 2013