Category Archives: Massachusetts

Birth Culture on Slate.com

Slate published an interview with me and a selection of my Birth Culture photographs. I’m so glad to have had the chance to explain why I care about this project, and to share the work widely. I’m amazed and happy about the response it’s gotten – 24,000 shares on Facebook!

Much like death, the subject of birth is often taboo, a fact of life that is rarely explored beyond established procedure. Proujansky has been fascinated by the various ways in which each culture she has explored approaches birth but said that in the United States, gender and generation often dominate the conversation.

“We have ideas about what women’s bodies are for and it’s not this,” she said about American views on birth. “You see a woman naked but her body is performing functions that are intense. Our culture has a weird thing about images of women’s bodies doing this kind of physical work that isn’t young and sexy; birth has elements of struggle, power, transformation and mortality that don’t fit with our ideas about women’s bodies: they’re ok to look at when they’re sexy but when they’re working it’s something else. Birth is uncontrolled and that freaks us out.”

She also feels it ties into the idea of how we view motherhood.

“We sometimes celebrate mothers and put them on a pedestal and they’re supposed to be self sacrificing with an endless well of love but we also have stereotypes about them being intellect free with snide jokes about mom jeans and soccer moms.”

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New York Times Sunday Review Publishes Birth Culture

I am so pleased to share that the New York Times Sunday Review published an excerpt of my Birth Culture project along with an op-ed I wrote.

You can see more photographs from the project here.

Jenna Eats a Plum and Chris Sits in a Hotel Room

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Chris Sits Below a Painting and a Flag Whips on the Ferry

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Berries at Aquinnah and, After the Fog, Nick Looks off a Jetty

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Chris Sits at Menemsha and Walks Along a Jetty

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Two Blue Walls With a Print and Flowers

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A Beach at Menemsha and, Elsewhere, Chris Stands Lookout

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Jenna Zips her Shirt and, Nearby, a Stone House

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Two Small Things

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