Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States
It’s Been Pouring: The Dark Secret of the First Year of Motherhood
Postpartum depression is in many ways no longer taboo; it’s an affliction on the lips of most pregnant women as something they fear getting, and which we’ve been told, counseling and medications can help address. And yet—when I experienced it myself and when I interviewed other women in the midst of their desperation—I realized that there is something we’re still not seeing, or only willing to look at askance.
This project introduces the public to the private grief of mothers with the aim of evoking compassion in the viewer. We’re still in many ways so far from accepting the struggle that mothers face when they realize that their internal experience does not match society’s expectations of being a joyful mother bonded to her infant, and how this only exacerbates the challenges they face in early motherhood.
With this body of work I plumb the depths of my postpartum depression, drawing on a community of mothers whose agony matches my own. Through a combination of photographs, extensive interviews, emails, texts, social media posts, journal entries, and personal items, I provide a portal into the unbearable tension that exists between the miracle of birth and the potential horror that follows. Here, in the interplay of objects, words and places of each individual mother, the story of her own suffering unfolds, leading the viewer through a narrative of despair.
By shedding a light on this unspoken topic, this project helps build the case that postpartum depression is, in part, a social problem, largely due to the narrow definition our culture has for being a mother.