Firewood accompanies women throughout their whole day, their whole life, but not just as a silent, immutable object. Displacing myself from my initial standpoint, which understood firewood as nothing more than a fuel, gave me a different perspective. I began to realize that firewood interacts with women and the environment in ways that produce their world, their identities. There was no way to disentangle firewood from women’s culture, from their life and their meanings. Firewood was significant not only as a substrate or a referent for words or culture; instead, it had its own place in a network, its own way of acting upon the world. Firewood made me realize, as Karen Bard says, that matter matters.
This photo was taken on January, 2019 during participant observation.
Emilia Ruvalcaba de la Garza, "When matter matters", contributed by Emilia Ruvalcaba de la Garza, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 26 August 2019, accessed 26 May 2022. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/when-matter-matters