WHY CALL IT LABOR? – ON MOTHERHOOD AND ART WORK
124 x 208mm, 178 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2020. Published with
Edited by Mai Abu ElDahab. Contributions by Mai Abu ElDahab, Lara Khaldi, Mary Jirmanus Saba, Mirene Arsanios and Nikki Columbus, Basma Alsharif.
Four essays and one conversation with contemporary artists and curators from different backgrounds and origins (Jerusalem, Lebanon, Kuwait, USA, Egypt) discussing their experience of becoming mothers as professionals in the arts, its reality and effects.
While their reflections represent a similar strata of art worker in terms of background, class, and career trajectory, the impact of instruments of patriarchy on rendering maternity invisible that they describe is recognizable and insidious. In a post-partum diary, Lara Khaldi makes audible the everyday exhaustion and disregard that comes with being a new mother; Mirene Arsanios and Nikki Columbus discuss the impact of the absence of legal or social protection for mothers; Basma Alsharif walks us through the difficulties of navigating the demands of different social contexts; Mary Jirmanus Saba pre-occupies at home with a flimsy maternity blog; And Mai Abu ElDahab put propositions on the table for how to deal with all of this.