Origin Trail

Alternate Author Name(s)

Kim Craig, kimcraig

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Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-30-2020


visual anthropology, documentary, immigration, geonarrative, patchwork ethnography, oral history, Google Earth, disabilities, MSA, El Salvador


Using an interactive map in the collecting of oral histories as a visual memory prompt, this short documentary film depicts my attempt to collect my dying stepfather’s immigration story from El Salvador to Chicago from our separate homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building Günel’s idea of patchwork ethnography which blurs the lines between home and field, personal and professional, method and theory, Jose and I use a mediated interface of shared screens we attempt a virtual go-along interview using Google Earth, entering the field together, remotely. An example of what I'm calling a "patchwork geonarrative", the film address the question: How can we do oral history under conditions that render a face-to-face interview impossible, and aims to illustrate how a GIS method is both a practical and ethical solution for interviewing interlocutors with disabilities.