Threads of Silence: Reflections on Long-Term Fieldwork in Galicia



This short article is about the realization that the most important lessons of the author's long-term fieldwork in Galicia (Spain) since 1985 are rendered in silence. The disruption engendered by the author's stroke in 1998 and the aphasia, the speechlessness, it created were helpful in her learning process. In this article, the author chronicles how she learned to see her physically induced silence as a source of insight into the disruptions experienced by her participants, including the communal disruption endured by the Galician people after the Prestige oil spill disaster.