MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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SPEAK OUT ! [CLICK]

Last month we shared our first residency at the new M.O.M. Art Annex with Christen Clifford who stayed at the Florence Joy Greist Memorial Guest Cottage editing a book about sexual assault. Christen’s unvarnished, honest approach to everything serves as inspiration for us all.

In February, Christen returns with her Feminist Peep Show performance as part of the “Mothering From the Margins” Conference in St. Pete. You can read a little more about that here, and also more about SPEAKING OUT courtesy of the WordPress “Daily Post.”

Museum of Motherhood founder, M. Joy Rose looks forward to presenting prominent women’s voices on a regular basis at the new Art Annex. She has been SPEAKING UP AND OUT on motherhood, feminism, and the arts since 1997 with her band Housewives On Prozac as well as at lecturing at colleges and conferences across North America. She will be presenting on the topic of “Disruptions” during the conference. More at Joy-Rose.com

– ALSO –

Andrea O'Reilly, Motherhood Hall of Fame, NYC (2014)

Andrea O’Reilly, Motherhood Hall of Fame, NYC (2014)

Dr. Andrea O’Reilly – Delivers the Keynote as part of the Mothering From the Margins Conference on Friday, Feb. 10th at 5 PM. Her presentation, titled “The baby out with the bathwater: The disavowal and disappearance of motherhood in feminism,” is sure to enlighten and inspire! Andrea O’Reilly Ph.D. is a writer on women’s issues and currently a Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the author and editor of eighteen books on motherhood and founder of MIRCI, and Demeter Books.

The M.O.M. Conference takes place Feb. 10-11 at 538 28th St. N. St Pete, Florida 33713. By RSVP only. “Feminist Peep Show” performance is Saturday, Feb. 11th 1:15-2:15 PM.

FIND A FULL SCHEDULE FOR THE CONFERENCE ONLINE HERE
TO ATTEND: RSVP info@mommuseum.org

Previously performed at The New Museum in New York, Judith Charles Gallery, and AUNTS, “Feminist Peep Show” is an explicit tour of a post-maternal body.
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Christen Clifford in St. Petersburg, FL 2017

“Clifford’s (art) is intended to serve as a call to arm’s when women’s reproductive rights are increasingly under attack.” Women in the World, The New York Times
“Christen Clifford has made it her mission to fight the patriarchy with art and a little irreverence.” NYLON magazine
Christen Clifford is a mother, feminist performance artist, writer, curator, and professor. She was an artist and curator for the recent Nasty Women exhibit that raised almost $50k for Planned Parenthood. Hyperallergic called her protest “We Wish Ana Mendieta Was Still Alive” one of the best Art and Activism pieces of 2014. The script of her solo BabyLove, which she performed at The Museum of Motherhood in Manhattan,  is in the permanent collection of theNew York Public Library. She lives and works in New York and online @cd_clifford

Get inspired by those who speak out. Whether through blogging or marching, make your voice heard.

via Speak Out — The Daily Post
Speak Out

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MAMA – Privatizing Motherhood and the Pussy Bow

Featured Artist is Christen Clifford and her Pussy Bow (from imprints of her actual pussy on silk) – See more at ProCreate for images [LINK}.

Christen Clifford is a writer, feminist performance artist, curator, professor, actor, and mother who lives in Queens.

Christen Clifford, Pussy Bow at the Museum of Motherhood Art Annex Residency in St Petersburg

Christen Clifford, Pussy Bow at the Museum of Motherhood Art Annex Residency in St Petersburg

Privatizing Motherhood
By Karen Malpede

My daughter, born the year Ronald Reagan was elected president in a landslide, has given birth to her first child in the year Donald Trump squeaked into the presidency. She was raised on the outskirts of what was then un-gentrified Park Slope and she lived in a theater, the loft-space held our living rooms and our stage. She was raised collectively—at the Park Slope Food Coop and the Park Slope Child Care Collective, where she and I met friends we have to this day. I mothered her collectively as well. She came with me everywhere: meetings, rehearsals, my monthly food coop work slot and I worked one day a week in her child care. She came with me to women’s conferences on war and peace, and ecofeminism. She camped with me at the Women’s Peace Encampment. I have a photo of her, at four years old, dressed in a striped red and white bathing suit, weaving yarn across the exit to the military base, to keep the nuclear missiles inside. They were supposed to be sent to allied nations in Europe, where they would be driven around on trucks for quick launch into the Soviet Union.

We were successful, by the way, not just “we” of course, but the anti-nuclear movement kick-started by women on the antiwar left in England, at Greenham Common, in Germany and in the US. I was arrested as one of the White House Lawn Eleven in 1979, the year before my child was born. I was arrested, again, at a Wall St. anti-militarism demonstration when I was six months pregnant. These protests gained enough popular resonance and force to result in the nonproliferation treaty between Reagan and Gorbechov (which might well be over-turned by Trump and Putin).

My daughter knew my friends, who were artists, activists and mothers: Grace Paley, Barbara Deming, Dorothy Dinnerstein, Judith Malina, Sybille Claiborne, Eve Merriam, and the only two still alive, ecofeminist organizer and writer, Ynestra King, whose birth I assisted and whose son my daughter met the day after he was born, and Martha Bragin, an international child-of-war trauma specialist with a program for Afghan social workers in Kabul, whose child was in the same collective day care. My daughter was breast fed on demand until she was four years old because she was mainly always with me and because it was always all right, or it felt all right to me, to breast feed where ever I was when she was hungry or needed comfort (although I lost a theater grant for breast feeding at a meeting with a local Brooklyn utility). Only once did I pump milk for her to leave in reserve so her father could do the feed—when I went to the second Women’s Pentagon Action, in 1982; and, then, too, to relieve myself, I expressed my breast milk into one of the public toilets in the shopping mall underneath the Pentagon, which felt like a ritual-offering of sorts. I finished a play the day before I went into labor. I remember sitting on the floor bending over my huge belly collating pages. That night I went to the Women’s Salon which I had co-founded, a monthly forum that hosted major writers the minute their books or plays came out. The play I finished before labor was produced in Brooklyn at the Arts at St. Ann’s, then still in the downtown church, when my child was one year old. The first time I took her in my arms into the church for a rehearsal, she, excited but too young to speak, pointed at the domed cathedral ceiling alive with light flooding through the stained glass. “Mama, see!” The words burst out in awe. It would be months before she actually began to talk, but during rehearsal breaks she would crawl onto center stage, sit and mime the gestures of the actors.

Does all this sound antiquated and odd? Or does it sound like a golden age long gone?

Nothing could be less like the motherhoods of my daughter, or of Martha’s daughter, a housing lawyer, or the daughter of another friend, a public health specialist at a state health and human services department. These mothers spend hours of their day pumping breast milk for storage in refrigerators and freezers to be given to their children when they are away at work. My daughter pumps in an employee bathroom at Trader Joe’s, where she works, in San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband moved because on working class salaries they could afford to buy a house. Martha’s daughter refers to herself as a small-time dairy factory, pumping milk for her son born prematurely who has yet to be fed except through a pipette. At the health and human services agency, nursing mothers must make a reservation to use the lactation room because it is too small for more than one breast-feeding woman at a time. It never occurred to anyone in   “human services” that women might pump and talk together, about work or children or whatever, or, perhaps, it did occur to someone and this is why the room is only large enough for one. Another friend with a young child works on the UN Food Program and is based in Egypt. She has to pump in the prayer room reserved for her Muslim co-workers; there is no other space even for those whose job is figuring out how to feed women and children across the African continent.

These first-time mothers have all been told, they’ve told themselves, they must breast-feed their children for the first two years. My daughter comes from her late shift at 12:30 am and pumps for an hour so there will be milk for her next shift the next day. Then she nurses the baby when he wakes in the middle of the night. Before she leaves for work, she pumps again, after nursing and feeding her baby his home-cooked organic, mashed fruits and vegetables. And she does without another woman’s voice, another woman’s helping hand. She’s alone in her suburban house.

At the same time as the fetus has become “a person”; motherhood has been privatized. What once was, in my memory, collective and communal, joyful—with children passed from day-care to play-date to sleep-over among families who knew each other well, or taken with their mothers to work and on adventures where there were other adoring adults—has become a solitary endurance contest. The mother must not falter; she cannot not produce the milk. She cannot not go to work. She is busy virtually 24 hours a day; she rarely sleeps and is always tired.

Breast-feeding in public is forbidden. Pumping rooms are lonely, inhospitable places. And the burden of feeding her child an optimum diet—of breast milk—is solely hers.

Pumping machines are plastic cups held by hand to the breast, with cords running to a receptacle and they have a wheezing motor. Some pumps are more effective than others, of course, but the machines that come with most insurance plans are ineffectual and slow; it takes a long time to pump six ounces of milk.

Women are isolated, relegated to private, sometimes unsanitary spaces, while they pump. Pumping is considered break-time from work. I had never considered any of this until I visited my daughter in San Antonio and watched her days and nights. When her husband comes home from work, she goes to work. They have an hour or two at most of waking time together. The child is passed between them. He’s still young, at 9 months, but there are no playgroups and scant outings with other mothers. Most of her friends leave their children with their grandmothers while they work (thus, social security subsidizes childcare), but I live and work in New York.

The privatization of motherhood is, of course, the conservative goal. Our lives should be privatized. We should all be in it for ourselves. Wealthy women can hire nannies, but this is just the privileged form of privatization. Mothers on a treadmill from work to nurture to the breast pump have no time to get together, much less to organize.

The point of anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s important book Mother and Others is that children reared and fed by groups of responsive adults (as all children in “primitive” hunting and gathering societies were and are or “they were unlikely to survive”) “learned to perceive their world as ‘giving place.’” This matters greatly, Hrdy says because “Within the first two years of life, infants fortunate enough to be reared in responsive caretaking relationships develop innate potentials for empathy, mind reading and collaboration, and often do so, with astonishing speed.”

Collective childrearing is not just good for mothers, alleviating some of the astonishing boredom of being with an infant or young child; it is essential for children if we wish, that is, to raise empathic adults, capable of understanding and caring for others as well as themselves. Those who see the world as a “giving place” are much less likely to destroy it and themselves with it. They are much more likely to take care.

Hrdy points out those evolutionary traits that are not used can atrophy and disappear. So, she posits, might be the case with empathy. That which once made us human because we recognized the other in ourselves and responded to the stresses and challenges of society as an I and Thou exchange in which our own best interests are best served by serving the best interests of others (for instance, stopping climate change and nuclear proliferation) is in danger of atrophying for lack of use. By privatizing the social activity that demands and creates empathy, we run the risk of raising human creatures wanting this essential trait. A sort of monstrous version of ourselves, loose and amuck in a universe ever-more endangered by our own actions, a world threatened by our inability to understand our own connections.

My daughter’s childhood was spent around the collective, women-dominated antinuclear and peace movements of the 1980ies; it is bitterly ironic that her child has been born into a moment when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have decided to play “nuclear chicken” with our planet and to drill for its remaining oil. Nothing would be important, now, again, than women’s voices, raised with all the authority of motherhood, to demand an end to nuclear weapons and real public policy actions to retard climate change. At this same moment, motherhood has become such a private, taxing, full-time job that woman lack the energy and strength, and the hours in the day, to secure a future for their children. This is the cost of privatizing our most communal trust: the raising of children to care.

If my, now elder generation, managed, we also failed to leave a legacy that made it possible for our daughters and their daughters to live collectively as we had. All I can say in defense is that my daughter proves my point; she is one of the most empathic people I ever met; kind and compassionate to her core, struggling and aware. But she is alone with her child. Without collective action focused on planetary peace and renewal her child’s future is grim.

Karen Malpede is a playwright and writer, co-founder of Theater Three Collaborative, editor of Acts of War: Iraq & Afghanistan in Seven Plays and Women in Theatre: Compassion & Hope. Plays in Time, a collection of four of her plays, is forthcoming in 2017. Her work appears in The Kenyon Review, Torture Magazine and The Brooklyn Reader, and has been published in The New York Times, The Drama Review, TriQuarterly, Confrontations and elsewhere. She is an adjunct associate professor of theater and environmental justice at John Jay College, City University of New York.

M.A.M.A. is the Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, as an International exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives.

#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg
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New Exhibits Are Up In St. Pete. Space Opens By Appointment Only Thurs., Fri., Sat., January 1, 2017

Welcome All –

The M.O.M. Museum Art Annex is poised to open its doors on January 1, 2017. The new hours are by appointment only. You must call ahead or e-mail: PH: 207.504.3001/MOMmuseum@gmail.com. Visitors may also opt to “Spend A Night At The Museum,” Thurs-Sat. More info coming on Air B & B.

Our new Live/Work space is pioneered by M. Joy Rose. Over the last year or two, an explosion in mother-making-art has taken place across England and America. Most recently, The Mother House (a summer experiment by Dyana Gravina and the Procreate Project, Nicola Smith and We Are Resident, as well as others, have inspired and connected art, motherhood, and the greater cultural community.

In 2016 a presentation by Sarah Black called “Mother As Curator” at the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference described her home environment as a video, art, installation, and inter-generational family experience. Her treatise declared that as an artist, she “blurs the boundaries of art, and the personal, family and audience, narrative and auto-biographic practices.” She states that as a “performance maker, she explores the home as both a physical and a metaphysical structure to house the work.” In this way, spaces are informed and co-created by those who participate in its interiors, but similarly, its interiors also hold a template for studying the things it contains from a distance.

As part of The Arts Enclave of Historic Kenwood, in the city of St. Petersburg, this new location aspires to be several things: an ongoing place to study motherhood, fatherhood, and family; an arts annex, preserving and interpreting objects for public consumption; a place of learning; a place to gather; and mostly, a template for all the possibilities to come, as M.O.M. continues to grow and thrive. (read more below slide show)

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The current exhibit features: Mother The Job, Moms of Rock, African Body Mask, Helen Hiebert, Pro Create Project Archive, Norman Gardner, Capucine Bourcart, Noa Shay, Ella Dreyfus, Helen Knowles, Anna Rose, Vee Malnar, Flavia Testa, Isabel Czerwenka-Wenkstetten, Christen Clifford, our library, including the Andrea O’Reilly Reading Room with the complete Demeter Press works, DVD Collection, CDs and more. Visitors may also enjoy trying on the Pregnancy Simulator Vest or exploring our “Science of Reproduction” exhibit. In addition, I will be using this space to continue to explore mother-labor as performance-art and to teach small groups of students. Here is my very brief bio. I look forward to meeting you soon.

M. Joy Rose holds a BFA in Theater and a Master of Liberal Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies with a focus on Mother Studies. She is a musician, concert promoter, museum founder, and fine artist. Her work has been published across blogs and academic journals, and she has performed with her band Housewives On Prozac on Good Morning America, CNN, and the Oakland Art & Soul Festival to name a few. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” in New York, and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts.

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MAMA- Out of the Frying Pan; Into the Physical World [CLICK]

The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 17th edition of this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the every day: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN: Beth Grossman -Seven frying pans are hung from men’s belts. Text from The Total Woman, written by Marabel Morgan in 1970 as a response to the feminist movement, is sandblasted into round mirrors stuck in the pan. As viewers read the text, they will see themselves in the mirrors. I ask them to take a look at how much has changed and improved as a result of feminism, and to consider how much remains the same within the male/female relationship. [Link to Procreate Beth Grossman]

ARTIST STATEMENT: In the United States, mothers and children are marginalized, even though we represent a large consumer market. Our leadership work as mothers is undervalued and unpaid. Artists are often are treated similarly. We have held onto our visions as children do, insist on speaking our minds and do the work we love. Our work as artists is often not well compensated in comparison to other commercial markets of similar size and scope.

Female art students are often told in art school “if you want to be considered as a serious artist, don’t have children.” In the traditional model of being an artist, one’s life must be consumed by art making. Raising children is also all-consuming. And yes, it has changed my life as an artist dramatically. I am more focused, organized, energized, inspired and determined to tell my story of being a professional artist and a “good mom.” My son shows me the world anew and I notice my own limited adult views.

My son has now gone off to college and I am entering a next stage of motherhood.  A friend told me that raising my son to be a sensitive, caring, loving young man who wants to contribute and “pay it forward,” was my best creative act.

mama. 17

The Physical World

From MER 14 “Change” Issue

By Nadia Colburn

For nine months
I anticipated,

as the other end
of pain,

a revelation:
a world turned

inside out.
Each inch I grew

marked a promise:
my present physical

certainty, my approaching
release. And, indeed,

torn open,
I gave birth

to the end of ideas:
Beyond pain was born

no understanding,
beyond understanding

was revealed
no new knowing but

another body, robust
which no thought

set screaming,
purple faced,

infuriated at air,
and no thought moved closer

to my breast,
and not thought closed

its thinly lidded
round brown eyes,

so soon worn out
by the unfamiliar light.

Nadia Colburn is the proud mother of two,  lives in Cambridge, MA. Her work has been widely published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, LARB, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. A founding editor at Anchor Magazine: where spirituality and social justice meet, Nadia teaches online and in person creative writing workshops that bring together the head and the heart. See more at www.nadiacolburn.com

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The Status of Mother Art Around The World [LINK]

ProCreate Project is due to launch at the Women´s Art Library at Goldsmiths University in London, England on the 15th of December, 2015. Over 100 featured ‪#‎motherartists‬. #JoinMama Book your free ticket here [LINK]

Here is my personal statement regarding the current status of mother-art around the world by M. Joy Rose:

(Martha) Joy Rose

(Martha) Joy Rose

I’ve been organizing the Mamapalooza Festival (worldwide) since 2002, which was inspired by the adventures of my mom-rock band, Housewives on Prozac (1997-2008). The intention was to support a mother-made-arts-movement and to activate social change for women who were mothers because: a) mother-made art was not being encouraged, b) venues for maternally-inspired artistic expression were non-existent. Motherhood generates its own reasons for celebration as well as illuminating a unique set of challenges. It was my very strong feeling that women who were artists should not ignore the procreative and caregiving aspects of their new-found embodied existence and that opportunities for mother-made-art should flourish.

By creating an inclusive, large-scale platform, I licensed the festival to event organizers ultimately reaching four countries and twenty-five cities. Hoping to open the portals to individual (and family) creativity as well as call attention to the specific issues women who are mothers and caregivers face. The festival garnered millions of followers through media stories generated by local events. The issues we tackled were broadly related to everything from acknowledging the liberating power of creative self-expression amidst the self-sacrificing nature of motherhood, to enhancing community engagement, as well as educating families at risk in the health, economic, and the reproductive justice arena.

ProCreateAfter years of organizing and promoting Mamapalooza through our non-profit Motherhood Foundation Inc. (2003-2010), the focus shifted to the long-term goal of having a physical location for the Museum of Motherhood. We procured a donated space in New York City from 2011-2014 where 60,000 people from around the world enjoyed our collaborative location. M.O.M. is currently online and conducts international academic conferences on the topic of mother studies (2005-ongoing). I got my graduate degree in mother studies in 2015 and am teaching through the museum portal, conducting classes in “families and social change” at Manhattan College, and writing about my experiences. Goals include continued international partnerships and a next-level space for exhibitions, classes, and archiving the science, art, and history of mothers, fathers, and families. The Mamapalooza Outdoor Extravaganza Festival continues to host approximately 10,000 families on the third Sunday of May each year in partnership with the New York Parks Department at Riverside Park South in Manhattan, USA.

I am thrilled to collaborate with the Procreate Project! Please stay in touch through MOMmuseum.org. See also Mamapalooza.com #JoinMama @MarthaJoyRose @MOMmuseum @Mamapalooza

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Project AfterBirth – NEWS RELEASE – July 2015

We are delighted to announce Project AfterBirth’s:

OFFICIAL EXHIBITION SELECTION
Project AfterBirth presents the first ever international open art exhibition on the subject of parenthood. The exhibition will feature unseen and rarely shown artistic responses to lived experiences of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, in a variety of visual, performance, literary, film & digital disciplines, by 30 international contemporary artists.
The selection panel spent many days over the past two months viewing the (more than 150) works submitted from all over the world in response to the open Call For Artists, reading through all application documents and deliberating over which of the many exceptional artists and outstanding works on offer to put through.
Due to the personal and intimate nature of the exhibition’s subject, many of the works and accompanying artist statements had a deep emotional impact. This, together with the quality, quantity and variety of the submitted works, made the selection panel’s task far from easy. However, as you will agree from the list of names below, Project AfterBirth promises to be a tremendous exhibition.
Most importantly perhaps, our experiences over the last two months have confirmed how much great contemporary, innovative work has been made and undoubtedly will continue to be made on the subject of pregnancy, birth & early parenthood in the 21st century. As the first ever open exhibition on the subject, Project AfterBirth will only scratch the surface of what is out there. It is therefore crucial that the lingering taboo status of parenthood in the contemporary art world and its perceived inferiority as an artistic subject, continue to be challenged at every opportunity.
It will take more than Project AfterBirth to change things, but through the exhibition and an anticipated (funding dependent) inter/national tour, community engagement programme and research project we are in the process of developing, we hope to make our mark and, along the way, inspire other arts professionals and organisations to adopt a more inclusive approach and develop opportunities for work on the powerful subject of parenthood.
So here, then, our selection of artists for Project AfterBirth’s exhibition:
1. Alison O’Neill (UK)
2. Amanda West (USA)
3. Belinda Kochanowska (Australia)
4. Carole Evans (UK)
5. Chris Anthem (Beirut/UK)
6. Clare Archibald (Scotland)
7. Courtney Kessel (USA)
8. Csilla Nagy (Hungary)
9. Danielle Hobbs (Australia)
10. Debbie Lee (UK)
11. Eti Wade (UK)
12. Geoffrey Harrison (UK)
13. Helen Sargeant (UK)
14. Hester Berry (UK)
15. Ione Rucquoi (UK)
16. Jana Kasalova (Czech Republic)
17. Jenny Lewis (UK)
18. Josie Beszant (UK)
19. Laura James Wray (UK)
20. Lu Heintz (USA)
21. Madison Omahne (USA)
22. Magda Stawarska Beavan (Poland/UK)
23. Marilyn Kyle (UK)
24. Rachel Fallon (Ireland)
25. Rocio Saenz (Mexico)
26. Ruth Gray (UK)
27. Sacha Waters Freyer (USA)
28. Sarah Sudhoff (USA)
29. Tareg Morris (UK)
30. Trish Morrissey (UK)
Project AfterBirth’s exhibition launches at White Moose gallery, UK, from 2nd October until 13th November 2015.
To keep up to date with all developments, please join the mailing list via the form below.
Project AfterBirth‘s exhibition selection panel members were:
– founders/curators Mila Oshin & Kris Jager (Directors, Joy Experiment, UK);
– Stella Levy and Julie Gavin (Directors, White Moose, Devon, UK);
– Martha Joy Rose (Director, Museum of Motherhood, New York, USA);
– Helen Knowles (Director, The Birth Rites Collection, Manchester, UK);
– Francesca Pinto (Head of Development, Photographer’s Gallery, London, UK).