Women @CERN

Noemí Carabán Gonzalez

In 1979, one of the most important science-fiction films, Alien, was released. It was in that year that Noemí, a videographer and photographer at CERN, was born. Sometimes she feels a bit like an alien, but who does not? Who can be considered normal? Who among us does not belong to the outsider category?

In 2012, months before the world ended, the God Particle AKA the Higgs boson was discovered at CERN, which in media terms meant a big peak of attention. At that time, Noemí was living in Czech Republic, and she was going through the HR process to get this peculiar job.

Her transformation into a CERNie coincided with the Long Shutdown 1, when the CERN accelerator complex was stopped for almost two years to get a technical facelift. That gave her the opportunity to record everywhere along the accelerator chain, including the LHC and all the experiments. Watching those images in lots of different countries’ news made her feel like she was from another planet.

CERN has a public image repository which thanks to Women In Technology (WIT), a community that promotes equality, has recently been enlarged with pictures of women scientists. Noemí works together with WIT, creating audiovisual content to make their role known. Also, portraying those women in their workplaces. “The power of representation should not be underestimated. It is really important to see them”, remarks Noemí.

If beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, Noemí lives surrounded by it. As a CERNie she has witnessed very special moments, like that time, at CMS, when a worker with the helmet and the safety equipment was doing a sort of tai chi, 100 metres below ground. Very special moments to be recorded out of one’s memory.

After almost eight long and short years, at the end of this 2020 (that has been quite an alien year), her contract ends. Noemí has already assumed that finding a place like CERN, a scenario where the extraordinary breathes, borders on the impossible. But, as she says, “everything has its moment”. A film, a book, a song or a job.

She would like to continue creating audiovisual content and showing things that are there, in front of us, and that sometimes we do not see. She loves to pick up the exceptional of people, places and things, because she is convinced that we have more to learn from things that are extraordinary than from those we already know.

Wherever she goes, she will maintain her cultural references, change her favourites from time to time, and flatter the difference, and its need in these times.

She will zoom in this narrow normality.

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