I got my final project idea from the Data Feminism piece. Data Feminism presents Maria Salguero’s use of counterdata to map the locations of femicides in Mexico. As we’ve read, her work has been a crucial tool and it has provided visibility for the victims. Contrary to Mexico, in Puerto Rico we have the Observatorio de Equidad de Género (OEG). This is an entity that traces these cases and has documented the data on a list. The OEG has shared its data so that it can be part of a Latin-American femicide map. However, that map is yet to be created. In the meantime, I would like to create a map that focuses on Puerto Rican femicides, mimicking Salguero’s model. It will be the first one of its kind and it will also be bilingual (I doubt that the Latin-American map will be in English). I will use Google Maps, just as Salguero did and my main source will be the list from the OEG. The OEG has missing information such as names, specific locations, time of crime etc. As a goal, I’d like to try and fill in these gaps by looking into local media and news. I will work my way backwards from 2023 and hope to map femicides up until April 2021.
I’m going to supplement the map with a rationale where I’ll write about my motives, inspiration, expected audience, experience etc. Some of my goals are to find patterns within seasons, locations and age groups. Some things that I will do that differ from Salguero and the OEG are: 1- I’ve chosen to refrain from the term victim and refer to these women by their first names. 2- I will set their first names as labels to each pin, to make them even more alive/visible when people see the map at first glance. 3-I’m going to do research so that I can place the pin in the exact location of their femicide (not just the town).
I know this will be an emotional experience for me which is why I’ve started a Word document that will become my journal. I plan to do short free writing exercises chronicling my thoughts each day that I spend working on the map. I don’t think I’ll be sharing the journal (unless anyone wants to read it) because it will not be polished writing. I’m eager to explore this type of data activism and hopeful that it might generate urgent conversations around gender-based violence. Any type of ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism is always welcomed and much appreciated!
*Other comments: I will be using the term feminicide instead of femicide. Here’s a link to my map in case you want to follow along (I’ve only added 4 pins). Please excuse the missing accents in Spanish, it’s just a draft. This is all for now, more details soon.
Adrianna, there is so much intentionality here that I feel really honors these women. From resisting the word victim, choosing to use these womxns first names, and going above and beyond with such precise GIS location and pins, not just the town, it feels a way to give power back to these womxn where otherwise they were intentiinally erased. You are intentionlly inserting them. This feels like how technology can take a stand for something and be advocacy, beyond the haphazard placement of data. This data are real womxn. They have names, families, ancestors, and the care you put into this feels as if you are honoring that and more.
Please feel free to reach out if you want to talk about your project at all. It will be heavy and you acknowledge that. A journal and even a running dialogue on your own reflexive process are ways you can create that space for yourself and also document the impact of doing this work.
Thank you for the support and feedback, Brie. I’m glad to see that you understood this! It all made sense in my head but it’s good to hear that others are seeing it the same way.
It took me a couple of reads of your project proposal for my mind to settle.
1. Your journal entries are important to this process: emotional labor and its impact on cognition and decision making is valuable information. ( I am coming at this from a composition and rhetoric mindset.)
2. I have recently learned of open source mapping platforms that might be more useful to input more of the information you want to input in the pins. ( You did mention you want to parallel Salguero’s maps. Let me know if you want to explore them. )
3. I am curious about your timeline. Why are you choosing to map out the last two years, beside the fact that this is a labor intensive project and two years of heartbreaking data is a lot!
4. Thank you for sharing your working map. (Hoping for the day when we don’t need to visualize these data points.)
Good luck to you. Let me know if I can support you in any way.
Thanks for the feedback, Tuka. My mind was going everywhere when I wrote the post. I wanted to be as succinct as possible and not overcomplicate things (as I tend to do when I explain my projects). I decided to use Google Maps because that was Salguero’s format of choice. But I’m open to learn about other platforms! I’m still in the early stages and am open to change. If I reached my timeline goal, I was planning to explain myself in the rationale. The reason I’d really like to map all the way back to April 2021is because that femicide is one the most talked about (if not the most) on the island. Keishla had a relationship with a famous boxer, Felix Verdejo. At the same time he was in a relationship with another woman and Keishla threatened that “stable relationship” when she told him she was pregnant with his child. He then decided to drug her, threw her (alive) into a lagoon and left her to drown. This case gathered almost 24/7 media attention for weeks. More and more people started having conversations and grew concerned about gender based violence. It bothers me how some cases get more attention than others. Still, Keishla’s story is testament to the importance of media communication in issues of social justice. There’s good and bad in media but it can really enact changes if we use it for the good.
My main issue is that in P.R. people either don’t care enough to talk bout this or they feel “to sorry for the victims” to continue talking about them. Maybe this project will end up being nothing, but I truly hope that it can create conversations.
This is a link to the femicide I’m talking about in case anyone is interested:
Adrianna, I also want to echo Brie’s comment about your intentionality and care—I really appreciate your attention to word choice, to labels, to names. All of that matters.
Thank you, Brie and Tuka, for offering thoughtful feedback!