beginning the interview process

Hola Amigxs!

Since I last updated I finally started to conduct interviews with women involved in the struggle for legalizing abortion in Argentina. So far I have conducted 6 interviews with different women, in different ages, education, and occupation. It’s been an exiting process but also quite nerve-wracking because of the fact that it is the first time I conduct interviews. It have also been questioning my position of doing field research and how the women I interview would react to my questions, these thoughts have also added to my nervosity. But all the women I have interviewed have been so kind, helpful and willing to answer all my questions, they have also found it very interesting that I am focusing on this struggle and in their situation in Argentina, and that I am doing this research.

Sometimes the language has been a bit of a struggle during the interviews especially when it comes to asking follow-up questions. Sometimes they speak so fast and passionately about their experiences or their struggle that it becomes a bit difficult to formulate the additional questions I would like to in order to make the interview as open and as less structured as possible. But I guess it’s also a matter of practices of conducting interviews.

During the easter holidays I felt a bit far from home, especially when seeing fotos on social media of friends and family gathering and celebrating. But I tried to keep myself bussy with studying and to meet some friends here in La Plata. During holidays the city always becomes a bit of a ghost town because a lot of people return to their home towns or leave the city for the country side. So it was quite relaxing walking and biking around in La Plata not being scared of getting hit by a car when crossing the street.

Spent a Friday evening in a park and strolled around a independent book fair

One Sunday while biking around in La Plata I passed a park where a group a people were dancing tango causally. I thought it looked very “argentinian” because the importance of tango in the culture.

What La Plata can look like on a lacy and empty Sunday afternoon

Seremos Ley

Hola Amigxs!

Now I am entering week three here in Argentina and I finally got in contact with some people involved in the struggle and the movement for the legalization of abortion about conducting interviews with them. So for this week I have scheduled three interviews, the first one tomorrow. The nerves are a bit shaky but it will hopefully be fine.

Tomorrow I will conduct an interview with a women involved in the “National Campaign for the legalization of abortion” (La campaña nacional por el aborto legal seguro y gratuito) and then later during the week I have two interviews with two medicine students who are organizing an open and free course at the medicin faculty about abortion and it being a problem of public health care. Since the practice of abortion is illegal the medicin students does not get trained in how to address the issue of abortion and how to talk about it.  The organizers of the course states that the purpose of the course is to provide academic and practical tools that are needed in order to confront the reality, a reality where where people that are able to get pregnant do have abortions .  The penalization of the practice imply that women realize abortion in unsafe and clandestine manner, which makes it a problem of public health care. I believe that it is an important aspect and action  in the struggle for the legalization to also provide professionals with the tools they need in order to help women.

During the weekend I had time to enjoy some fiesta. A cultural center in the city had a LGBTQ festival that where arranging performances and concerts that raised awareness to the trans and non binary artist scene. It was really fun and so nice and open energy at the place. It makes me glad that there are places like this where everyone is welcomed and the hegemonic way of understanding gender is challenged and deconstructed.

During Sunday evening I went to a book release event. A student from the journalist faculty presented her book “Seremos Ley” that is a result from her bachelor thesis. The book presents various stories from the women engaged in the movement for the legalization of abortion and especially women engaged in the “socorrismo”. Las socorristas is a group of women that help and accompany persons that wish to have an abortion in the process, so that they are able to have a safe and abortion. This national network of help or first aid, which is the translation of socorrismo into english,  has become extremely important to the struggle for legalizing abortion. Every year this network help and accompany around 5,000 women to have safe abortions.

During the event there were some beautiful live music but also a discussion talk and presentation of the book by the author. Women who had been interviewed for the book where also there and together they presented a interesting discussion of the their work and its importance for the struggle.

The book Seremos Ley which in English means “we will be ley”.

Picture of the talk where the author presented her book and then some live music.

The call for abortion can be found in many different places, for example in the bathroom of the place where they held the party, there I found these stickers.



Second Week in Argentina


I have now entered my second week in Argentina and things are going good. Last week I was reading the literature my contact person gave me and it gave me some new insights and ideas for my interviews. So everyday last week I biked to the humanities faculty and studied in the library as the good student I am 😉 Now I feel a bit more confident on the current academic discussion on the issue of abortion and this is good knowledge for both the writing of the thesis and the interviews.

Yesterday I meet with my contact person again and I showed her my interview questions. She gave me some really useful help in formulating the questions in Spanish, since Spanish not my mother language I sometimes need help with the translation.

Now it is time to contact the women for my interviews. My contact person has given me some contacts that I am now getting in touch with. One of them lives in the south of Argentina so hopefully a trip will be organized to the beautiful south.

Besides studying I have had time to enjoy the weekend with some friends. The plan for Friday was to go see a theater because it “La noche de los teatros” (the night of theater) and all the theater plays were free. After visiting three different theaters and all of them were full we decided to go to a bar instead. Saturday night continued in a cultural vibe when I went to the cinema with a friend to see a feminist movie from the 70’s. The movie was centered around the abortion struggle and the idea of motherhood in France during that period and it was so really mind opening to see that these are themes that we are still discussing in modern times in both Sweden and especially here in Argentina.

This is a poster that I found at the faculty, 9 reasons (because unfortunately number 10 was not captured in the foto) for demanding legal abortion in Argentina. They are all reasons that illuminate the current discussing of abortin in the country and the social affects it has, and i thought it could be relevant to show here on the blog.

  1. Abortion in  Argentina is non-punishable in some causes.
  2. Abortion is the leading cause of death for pregnant women.
  3. Legal or illegal, women will have an abortion either way.
  4. The upper class abort in silence and in dollars. The poor girls are the ones that dies.
  5. Abortion is an issue of public health care, social justice and human rights.
  6. Legal abortion for not to die, contraceptives for not having to abort, sexual education for deciding.
  7. Motherhood from the desire not from an order.
  8. Take away their rosary (catholic prayer beads) from our ovaries.
  9. Clandestine abortion as a business of few.

A painting on the faculty building that is demanding the access to legal abortion as a decolonization of women’s bodies.

Finishing this post with a less important picture of me eating Argentinian fires, the best ones with cheese, onion and bacon.





First days in Argentina


Finally I have arrived to Argentina and this new experience has begun.

I have decided to stay in La Plata, a student city one hour outside of Buenos Aires, where I did my exchange semester last year. I have found a wonderful little accommodation with a patio that I share with two other students. My plan is to have La Plata as a “home base” and then travel to places in the Buenos Aires region when I need to conduct interviews.

On Monday I meet with my contact person who is a teacher at the Humanities faculty here in La Plata and we had a great first meeting together. We talked a bit about my project and she gave me some literature so that I can read up on the the current discussion of abortion in the country. During my exchange I learned a lot about the women’s movement and the political debate of abortion and now I am excited to learn even more and to gain new experiences.

The first days have been intense and filled with studying but I have also had time for some catching up with missed friends from my exchange. The weather is better than I expected so I am walking around and enjoying the sun.

It feels like things haven’t changed since I left Argentina almost one year ago. The people are as friendly as always and they don’t miss a chance to sit down and drink some mate (the argentinian national drink). But there is one drastic change in the country, the economic crisis. The argentinian peso has lost half of its value in one year and the prices have increased due to the current inflation. The crisis is affecting all the areas and spheres of the lives of population, and persons have shared their discomfort and preoccupation on the current situation.

During the week I will continue reading and start to formulate the questions for my interviews. Hopefully I will have some time during the weekend to enjoy some cervezas and perhaps even a concert. The rhythm of life is relaxed and and plans happens in the moment, something that can be a bit different from the Swedish way of planing, but I like it.


The famous mate, a kind of te that you share with friends
Foto take during my walk to the faculty
The patio at the faculty 
Streets of La Plata

The catedral of La Plata and a red painted bench commemorating women who died due to domestic violence.

Children not mothers!
Graffiti that calls for the legalization of abortion
Foto of my new living room

Inspirerande sjuksköterskor och askmoln

De här två veckorna har jag träffat grymma sjuksköterskor som arbetar på vårdcentraler i Neuquén och Cipolletti. Det har varit spännande samtal där de har berättat om sina erfarenheter av att möte kvinnor som vill göra abort. De har fått kämpa mot sjukhusdirektörer och läkare som inte anser att en kvinna som har blivit våldtagen har rätt till abort, trots att till och med den restriktiva lagstiftningen ger henne den rätten. De har pratat om samarbetet mellan sjuksköterskor, psykologer, socionomer och läkare och hur de tillsammans bildar nätverk som arbetar för kvinnors rätt att bestämma över sina egna kroppar. Hur de tillsammans arbetar i team för att göra hela processen kring aborten så skonsam som möjligt för kvinnan. De har också berättat om komplikationer efter abort med persiljerötter och virknålar som har lett till infektioner och blodförgiftning och kvinnor som har dött i deras vård. De har kämpat och upplevt mycket när de har följt kvinnorna genom aborten. De fortsätter att vidareutbilda sig och lära av varandra dela sina erfarenheter, inte på statens initiativ utan för att de ser att det finns ett behov och känner att det är deras uppgift att ge stöd och vård.

När kvinnor söker hjälp så handlar det sällan bara om aborten utan många befinner sig också för övrigt i svåra situationer. Flera har blivit utsatta för våld och våldtäkt i nära relationer och många kommer ensamma eftersom de inte har kunnat dela händelsen med någon. Det är därför sjuksköterskorna på vårdcentralerna är så viktiga enligt dem själva, det är därför det är så viktigt att de tar kvinnornas berättelser på allvar och finns där och ger stöd och hjälper dem vidare till rätt läkare och gynekologer som kan göra ultraljud och skriva ut recept. Alla sjuksköterskor arbetar självklart inte så men jag har fått träffa några som ser och erkänner behovet av en värdig abortvård och som arbetar för att sprida kunskap och utbilda kollegor. En stor del av deras arbete handlar om preventivmedelsrådgivning och de har workshops både på vårdcentralerna och ute i skolorna. De arbetar för sexuell och reproduktiv hälsa och för alla människors rätt att bestämma över sin egen kropp och sexualitet. Så inspirerande att få intervjua dem och lära av deras arbete.

Abort-infoJag har också varit med La Revuelta, det feministiska kollektivet, när de har abortrådgivning, och fått se hur de arbetar för att hjälpa kvinnorna till så säkra aborter som möjligt. Många kvinnor har blivit hänvisade till La Revuelta av sina läkare eller gynekologer, de ger hellre numret till ett feministiskt kollektiv än att själva hjälpa kvinnorna till en säker abort. En sjuksköterska sa att det handlar om rädsla att förlora den egna legitimationen, att de säkert skulle handla annorlunda om de inte själva riskerade straff.

Sedan i tisdags är jag hos vänner iSan Martin de los AskaAndes, på gränsen till Chile. Det är en helt fantastiskt plats med vackra berg, skogar och sjöar. Nu är allt täckt i ett tjockt lager av aska. Efter vulkanutbrottet i Chile i onsdags så befann vi oss plötsligt mitt i askmolnet, det var mörkt som natten ute till klockan 11:30. Vi har varit inne hela dagarna på grund av askan som täcker staden och har bara gått ut för att handla mat. Invånarna är ute och försöker städa undan så mycket som det går, men om vinden vänder kommer snart ett nytt moln. Självklart går det inte Askanatt jämföra med skräcken som de som lever nära vulkanen upplever men ändå otäckt med giftig luft och förorenat vatten i kranarna.Vi har munskydd och går bara ut för att handla mat, det blir mycket tid inne med transkribering av intervjuer osv. Men vi mår okej och snart kan jag resa tillbaka till Neuquén!


Aborträttsaktivism i Argentina

De senaste dagarna har jag varit på ett nationellt aborträttsforum i Cordoba. Socorristas, aborträttsaktivister, från hela Argentina samlades under fyra dagar för att organisera sig, prata strategier och dela med sig av erfarenheter från sina provinser.Socorristas en red Så peppigt att få vara med och följa deras arbete! Alla deltagare var feministiska aktivister och några få arbetade i hälsosektorn. En punkt på dagordningen handlade just om hur de ska organisera kontakten med sjukvården, de olika grupperna hade en lista med namn på läkare och sjuksköterskor som kvinnor som har gjort abort kan vända sig till för efterkontroll och preventivmedelsrådgivning. Det är en annan verklighet, att inte ha rätt till en säker abort, att förlita sig på information om medicinsk abort från feministiska nätverk, att hoppas på att apoteket ger dig misoprostol som skrivits ut på recept till en manlig bekant med magkatarr, att inte ha rätt att bestämma över sin egen kropp. Så ser det ut i Argentina och i många andra länder, för de kvinnor som inte har råd att betala dyrt, flera tusen kronor, för en illegal men säker abort på en privat klinik.

Sedan igår är jag i Neuquén, staden i Patagonien där jag kommer att intervjua sjuksköterskor som möter kvinnor som vill göra abort eller som har gjort abort. Idag har jag varit på ett seminarium på medicinska fakulteten om sexuell och reproduktiv hälsa som hölls av min kontaktperson här Ruth Zurbriggen och gynekologen Gabriela Luchetti. Gabriela startade post-abortkliniken på sjukhuset i Neuquén och var tills nyligen chef där. De pratade om ämnen som saknas eller som jag skulle vilja ha mer av i vår utbildning i Malmö, diskriminering av transpersoner inom vården, genus, ojämlikhet och rasism, sexualiserat våld och hur män och kvinnor ges olika vård och behandling. Det pratas väldigt mycket om den patientcentrerade vården på vår utbildning men det läggs mindre tid på att diskutera sociala konstruktioner, fördomar och diskriminering eller hur vi verkligen ska jobba för att alla ska våga vända sig till sjukvården för att få hjälp utan rädsla för trakasserier från vårdpersonal och andra patienter.

Jag skriver på uppsatsen också och imorgon ska jag göra min första intervju med en av sjuksköterskorna som jag är i kontakt med här i Neuquén!