Disrespect and violence to women during the childbirth process in the hands of health care professionals has become so normalized and insidious, most professionals are completely unaware that their actions leave a long term imprint of trauma on their patients. Procedures without consent of the mother, verbal abuse, unnecessary C-sections and episiotomies are just a few examples of abusive treatment that impacts mothers and babies. Battlefield is a conceptual documentary work that highlights my personal scars and emotional journey as well as the journey of many friends and women around the globe that are continuing to suffer trauma from unnecessary and invasive procedures by modern healthcare practices.
A recent study reported that one in six women have experienced maternal mistreatment from invasive practices. Obstetric violence is a human rights issue on a worldwide scale, yet it remains a relatively taboo subject. As a documentary photographer, mother of two boys and a friend to dozens of mothers in my worldwide community, it became clear in my conversations with them that I need to tell this story. My methodology combines traditional documentary techniques with an exploratory approach. I make self portraits and document fractions of my daily life that evoked the trauma. In revisiting hospitals and exploring the objects used by medical providers for birth, I hope to start a conversation on how these are being used and could be used. I aim to visually engage the viewer on the emotional journey that we, women, go through when unnecessary practices are forced on us by healthcare providers, imparting unresolved trauma on the mothers held in their care.