The birth of a child is also the birth of a mother. For nine months her body has a second beating heart. When this heart suddenly beats outside the body, everything changes. - A photo art book about the dark and light sides of motherhood. A vulnerable, honest and at the same time poetical and intense book about motherhood and mental health.
I tell the story of Martha, who did not leave the house for three years after the birth of her first child. Home isolation, which many of us have experienced as an externally imposed necessity this year, was a vital strategy for Martha. For three years I photographed with analog medium format - staged self-portraits, still lifes and scenes. While working on this project, I made my own (brief) experiences with postpartum depression after the birth of my child. The dispute became all the more urgent. Because: PPD is a topic that is avoided. Both in the arts and in social discourses. There is stigma and silence on it. And it's time to change that! It is time to speak honestly about female bodies, the beginning of motherhood, the depths, fears and various forms of motherly love that come with it. And about the exaggerated expectations our society has of the perfect happy newborn mother. I am happy to tear down some walls of silence for this, as I consider it important to create an inspiring dialogue between the photographs, the texts, the viewer and readers about this disease, which effects up to 15% of all mothers and also around 4% of all fathers. Maybe more. Martha's story ended positively after a good three years. Step by step.
The photographic series will comprise around 50 analogue color photographs and will be supplemented by an essay. Two other well-known authors are also asked to contribute. The texts will be published in German and English in order to make the book accessible to a wider audience.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
The book addresses all people. Those who are interested in photography, literature and art. Those who are affected by or have suffered from postpartum depression. Mothers, fathers, siblings, grandmothers, grandfathers, still-to-be mothers and fathers, friends and those who feel like mother or father. This book can be for everyone because we are all born of a mother. - Basically so many people have to do with this disease or know someone who has had experiences, and yet it is still difficult to speak openly about it. I want to change that.
At the same time, however, this book is also an art book, a book that raises questions through artistic photographs without having any answers ready. A book that provides emotional access to Martha's story, my story and other similar stories of many mothers and fathers.
Why would you support this project?
We want to offer you an open dialogue through a deeply personal story. You help us to print an inspiring book filled with an intensive yet poetical honest story and additional texts.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
With your financial support, I can self-publish the very first issue and pay a better fee for the designer, editor and translator - this is important and even more important in times of Corona. I want to make sure everyone is paid fairly.
In addition, once the second funding goal has been reached, we as a team behind the book would like to work on an exhibition and readings (via zoom) to open up a dialogue with all our supporters and for everyone interested. The costs for scans, book production, fees and distribution would be largely covered. A higher edition can possibly be printed.
The book will definitely be published. Either as self-publication or with a publisher. Even if only the first goal is achieved.
Who are the people behind the project?
You‘re supporting a very personal project. My name is Rabea Edel and I worked on this series for over three years. I started when I was five months pregnant. I'm the author of two novels. And I'm a photographer. This book is my final graduation work at the renowned Ostkreuzschule for Photography, but it is much more than that: it is my most personal work to date that can open up a dialogue about a topic that is still hushed away nowadays.
But to make a good book you need a strong team. That is why the picture editor Gillian Henn takes over the editorial concept and the designer Christine Lange the design of the book. We are all connected not only by friendship, being mothers and many years of experience, but above all by curiosity about projects that dare to take a new look at personal issues.
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