Undo Motherhood explores the reasons why a significant number of women around the world today regret becoming mothers. It points a finger at the patriarchal institution of motherhood, which from a very young age pushes women to become mothers and then abandons them, very often at the cost of their lives.
The women in this project love their children and are excellent mothers when judged according to society’s standards, and yet they hate the oppressive mother role that has robbed them of their own existence and suffer through it in silence, feeling it to be the worst mistake they have made. This book is a wake-up call for society which is built upon violence and discrimination against women and uses the myth of happy motherhood to keep women under control in a subservient role.
In this work Diana Karklin combines two narrative languages – her photographs and texts of the protagonists – to create a space for reflection. It is important to know that these women have either already told their children about their regrets or they are going to tell them in the future, so their participation in the project is in line with their decision. The project is based on the contrast between the typical sugar-coated images of motherhood in many (social) media compared to the real stories. The entire work is divided into seven chapters – published in seven separate books in a slipcase – where each chapter circles around the feeling that prevails in that mother’s life: anger, fear, isolation, exhaustion, guilt, resignation and acceptance. The last chapter stresses the importance of accepting regret in order to be able to deal with it in a constructive way.
"An honest, courageous, and radical book that without passing judgement gives a voice to women struggling with the experience of a social role that they do not want, experiencing guilt and the burden of moral expectations. A book that allows us to explore the other dimension of motherhood, a dimension that is always hidden in the shadow. It is necessary to look at motherhood as it is in all its aspects, in order to free it from prejudices, and to present vital options to both mothers and children who find themselves in this situation,“-Ana Casas Broda, photographer and author of “Kinderwunsch”, that explores the complexity of motherhood and the relationship with her two sons."
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