Reflections and Struggles

Now that I’m back from Spain and have cracked open a book on social movement theory, I have begun to process the data and the experiences that I had while abroad. I think that one of the most important things that I learned from the interviews was that the Pumarejo is not one thing. I had assumed before that it was a social movement, titled Lo Hacemos Nosotras, however, I discovered that that was merely a branch of a larger organization. Now, this could prove a challenge as I continue my research because organizational theory and social movement theory are very different. Moreover, the Pumarejo is both a house, called the Casa Grande del Pumarejo, but it is also an organization made up of a diverse network of collectives, like the Bibliopuma (the library), Mujeres Supervivientes, etc. It appears that the very reason that inspired me to do my research (the question: how are all of these diverse traits able to intersect with reasonable success?) can merely be answered with “Because that’s just the way it actually¬†is.” There appears to be no active effort to mesh all of these interests. So what do I do? I believe that by tilting my research away from this angle and focusing more on the symbolic meaning of house to the diverse members of the organization provides a more rich study of the collective identity of the Pumarejo. I was fortunate enough to interview a eclectic cross-section of individuals for this study. It has been an honor working with these inspiring people who fight so hard every day to preserve what they believe in. DSC02615I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity by the Charles Center to return to the place that enchanted me so much and that I could see myself living and working someday. This has been an infinitely enriching experience and I hope to continue to grow because of it. Thank you!

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Interviews and Discovery

The past two weeks have flown by in a swirl of interviews and information. For the purposes of this blog, I find that I am struggling with the ability to write concisely. I could write for pages and pages about the conversations, the emotions, and the details of the house and the individuals, but I don’t think I would have enough room. I’ll do my best to summarize the important facts and my insights from the interviewing process.

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Back to Seville and Ready for Adventure

To be back in the place you studied abroad in is surreal. I think that’s the best word to describe the feeling. It’s amazing, incredible, emotional, and bizarre. As I walk down the streets, nothing seems to have changed, but everywhere is tinged with my memories of it from the year before. I arrived just in time for the end of Feria, the gigantic spring festival, and began my interviews after the week was over. After a few days of communication struggles (i.e. through Facebook message, not the most efficient), I contacted one of the members of the organization and we agreed on a date and a place.

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The Power of the Pumarejo

My name is Shannon Fineran and I’m a rising senior at the College. My project was inspired after my time abroad in Seville, Spain and my exposure to the history, politics, and society there.

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