On Fieldwork, Theory,
and the Question
of Biography
Fieldwork for this book was carried out during the summers of 1999
and 2000, and during January through April 2001, and comprised archi-
val research, in-depth interviewing, informal conversations, and photo
elicitation. Archival research included reading every issue of Santiago
del Estero’s main local newspaper (El Liberal) for the years 1993 and
1994, and selected issues of El Liberal and El Nuevo Diario of subsequent
years, and of every issue of La Mañana del Sur for the years 1995 to 2000,
and selected issues of Rio Negro. Archival research also comprised con-
tent analysis of three major national newspapers (La Nación, Clarín, and
Página12) fortheyearbeforeandtheyearaftertheuprisings.Ireadpopu-
lar magazines (Noticias and Gente) that published extensive reports on
the events. In Santiago I watched a video produced by two local jour-
nalists that provides wonderful coverage of the events of December 16.
In Cutral-co I watched many locally produced videos on the uprising,
as well as footage from the local tv channel. I also read leaflets, press
communiqués, police records, and court case files to the extent that
taken active part in the riot, either in the demonstrations and rallies in
the main square that preceded the burning of Government House or in
the burning and sacking of public buildings and politicians’ residences.
I also interviewed six local journalists, two policemen who had been on
duty during the day of the riot, and the judge in charge of the arrested
persons. Nana’s life story was recorded over a period of four weeks.
Since then I have had many conversations with her and her family. I
spent four weeks at Laura’s home in General Roca (Río Negro), during
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