Tina Bitouni is from Greece and graduated from the Master’s programme in Visual Culture at Lund University spring 2018.
Tina's background is within Media studies and Communication and after finishing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Greece she tried to find a job as a journalist, but unfortunately there were not many work opportunities.
– I worked as a journalist for a couple of months but my newspaper went bankrupt and instead I took some part time jobs as a waitress and sales assistant. I wanted to apply for PhD studies abroad and to do so I needed a master thesis in English.
Instead of getting her master thesis from the university in Athens translated into English she decided to apply for a second master and study abroad.
– I think living abroad is essential to better understand one’s interests and personality. It’s a great experience.
There were two reasons for Tina to choose Sweden. As a citizen of the European Union (EU) education in Sweden is free of charge. Also, there was no problem that she already had a master’s degree from home.
– In Copenhagen, where I also applied, they had this restriction that if you already had a master’s degree they would give priority to other students. So, I chose to come to Sweden.
– In the beginning I wasn’t so familiar with Visual Culture, because it’s an emerging discipline. Originally when I applied to Lund University I was admitted to Media Studies at the Department for Communication and Media. It’s within media I have my background. Within the Media programme I had to take an elective course and that’s when I found out about Visual Culture. When I realized what Visual Culture was, I wanted to take part of the whole programme, not just a course, and I was able to switch programme.
– There is a kind of misunderstanding that Visual Culture is a version of Art History. But I have realized that it’s not. It deals with a lot of technological and sociological issues. After the master, I have become more aware of the visual construction of our surroundings. I think Visual Culture is a programme for those who are interested in Media, Aesthetics, Art History and Representation.
Tina found that the programme in Visual Culture offered her a good opportunity to see how academia works.
– The master’s programme was a very good introduction to academic life. We learned how conferences are organized and how you write an article and we learned how to peer review our fellow students’ articles.
Tina would like to recommend the master’s programme to other students and the fact that it’s taught in English is an important part.
– There is a similar master in Germany, but it requires that you speak German. The master’s programme at Lund University is ideal for a student interested in this field, lives in Europe and speaks English!
Tina wrote her thesis in Visual Culture about street art produced in the Palestinian territories.
– I didn’t have access to that area of Palestine but through social media I received lots of images – on the one hand street art by international artists painting on the West bank wall, and on the other hand, images addressing the conflict, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the segregation. I was wondering how it all was related.
Now, after finishing the master’s programme, Tina’s wish to apply for a PhD position is even stronger, and she has already applied both in Denmark and Germany.