What happens after a project is done? At CuriousWorks, emerging artists build up their skills, talents and experience on various arts, community and social enterprise projects. Every project is a learning experience, no matter what your role in it is. We’ve had the privilege of seeing how the Curious Creators have grown and developed as artists, but it can be difficult to track a person’s progress just through social media posts and occasional project outcomes. So we’ve asked some of the Curious Creators to reflect back on some of their past projects and share their perspectives.

Samantha Barahona is a Curious Creator who recently completed an intership at CuriousWorks where she worked across the CuriousWomen program (of which she is also a member) and the Beyond Refuge: Dialogues launch, including editing the launch video.  We asked her to write about her experience; she chose to reflect on her experience by writing it as a letter to her past self.

Pictured: Samantha Barahona and the first production team she had during her second year of university. Check out some of the other familiar CuriousCreator faces!


Dear Samantha,

It’s 2016 and you’re starting university for the first time. You’re afraid of change, you feel anxious leaving your house and the thought of meeting new people terrifies you to your core. This course is exciting and new, but you’re wondering if you’re good enough to do it. You’ve always been drawn to film and the arts, whether you realised it or not, but you’ve always felt like something was holding you back. You convince yourself that you can’t create or be creative. You struggle to come up with unique ideas and find it hard to develop the ideas you do have. You feel so trapped in your own self-doubt that anything you attempt to create, goes straight into a folder to never be looked at again. Now you’re dedicating the next three to four years of your life on something you aren’t sure you can do and question if you can even make a career out of. But you can’t think of doing anything else, and the thought of one day being able to make films and receive recognition for your work, excites you. You hold onto this feeling, and hope it will be enough to get you through the next couple of years.

When graduation approaches, you will be nervous to see what comes next. Interning for CuriousWorks will help calm those nerves. As an intern, you will work hard and be appreciated for your efforts. You will be given opportunities that will help you expand your skill set. You will get the chance to edit a video for an important project’s launch, Beyond Refuge: Dialogues. That’s right, edit! You always admired the skill of editing, but you felt like it was too hard. You were too afraid to show interest during university projects because you felt like you wouldn’t be a very good editor. But working on this video will give you the chance to try, and that will change everything for you. Working on this video will help you realise that you are capable. Capable of directing a project creatively, putting together a video and just creating. Despite constantly second-guessing yourself, you will prove to yourself that you can accomplish anything by just trying. With the support of CuriousWorks, you’ll continue to learn more about yourself as a filmmaker, your strengths, your weaknesses, the things you should embrace about yourself and the things you can improve on.  During the process of making this video, you will be able to use the skills you developed during the three years of university, to produce meaningful work. 

I know it’s been difficult, but this journey will teach you to embrace getting out of your comfort zone. You will learn that in order to grow, you need to be confident in yourself and the skills you have. Pushing yourself to form meaningful connections, not just professionally, has always been something you struggled with, but by being your genuine self and being open with your ideas, you will be able to create lifelong friendships with those who share the same passions and interests as you. 

Make sure to surround yourself with people who inspire you and encourage that voice inside of you to speak up, just as you will do during the Beyond Refuge: Dialogues edit. Embracing that experience will help you acknowledge all your accomplishments, even the smallest ones. There’s still more to accomplish and you’re only just beginning, but you should be proud. Don’t be afraid of failure and try your hardest, even when you think you can’t. Throw yourself at opportunities that help you grow into a better version of yourself. There are times when you will be afraid to do so but always remember; you’ll only experience life to its fullest when you are outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t give up on yourself,

Samantha (2019)


By  Samantha Barahona

You can read more about Samantha and the other projects she’s been involved in here.

Photo is a still from the Beyond Refuge: Dialogues video that Samantha edited. The video can be found here.