A public lecture with Dr Ieva Jusionyte (Harvard University)
Guns and Mosquitoes: How Media Makes Emergency and Routine on the Argentine Border
Drawing from ethnographic research with news journalists in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, this talk will examine the role of the media in producing, circulating, and contesting conspiracy narratives. From the 1990s, when securitization and militarization went hand-in-hand with sensationalist portrayals of the region as a haven of organized crime and terrorism, to the panics caused by the spread of tropical disease–first yellow fever, then dengue–over a decade later, local journalists in towns along the Argentina’s northern edge have remained mostly silent. Off the record, the media in the Province of Misiones has been fiercely criticizing the complicity of major Argentine news outlets in vilifying the border area–a process, which they saw as being driven by the interests of political and economic elites in Buenos Aires as well as in Washington, D.C. In this talk, I will discuss the disagreements about the events and their interpretations between local, national, and global media as a lens through which to understand social anxieties and insecurities in a historically marginalized and criminalized border region.