Laia Seró | Journalist

Two years ago, the journalist who is writing these lines began to explore the universe of etnography—the complex universe of meeting and understanding the other. My aim was to gain a better understanding of social sciences and its methodology in order to build stories with greater precison. Since then, I haven’t given up. The borders that separate both disciplines are blurry, but it’s always in this thin line were the best ideas are born. Everybody knows that the media industry is undergoing a serious crisis—one that affects its business model and the credibility of the press—, but why shouldn’t journalism and ethnography cross paths, considering their common interest for discovering reality and creating a story out of it.

This year, once again, I’ve attended the Faber residency. There I tried to navigate the complicated relationship between these two disciplines. I’ve been woriking on Dona’m la mar (Give me the sea / Give me your hand), an antropological and journalistic project which focuses on how women remain invisible in the Mediterranean. This research aims to bring the women who live in the sea to light in order to incorporate a gender perspective to Barcelona’s Maritime Museum.

The magazine of SomAtents is another space where I’m used to navigate the muddy waters of journalism and etnography. I’ve been a member of this group for the pasrt five years. From the very first day, it’s been a school to me (especially, a school of literary journalism). We continue to work on this project: and now, our goal is to launch a new magazine. What can we learn from the etnographic gaze of some journalists? And from literature? Let’s try it! Émile Zola’s work is full of etnographic material, and so are Anton Txejov’s writings… What about Tom Wolfe, or Gay Talese—how can we define their work, if not as examples of urban etnography?