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Photo Essays

Vol. 10 No. 3: September issue

Giving Birth in Silence

January 12, 2023


Jacinta, deaf from birth, chose to give birth to her own baby at home without her hearing aids. Fu-Yu assisted and took photos of the process. This is a Photo Essay about alternative possibilities to biomedical childbirth. We share our experience through this medium, as the ‘visual’ was our shared sensory perception at the time. Besides acknowledging the intersubjectivities that surfaced, we see the importance of recognising that ‘images are representations of the world filtered by the positionalities of the makers themselves, influenced by unique experiences that brought them to that point in time … Images become an extension of a way of thinking, visually connecting maker with participant along lines of thought’ (Cartwright and Crowder 2017, 515). Although Fu-Yu is the one operating the camera, Jacinta, her partner, her mother, her cat and her home ‘make the image’. Whilst Jacinta was in labour, Fu-Yu was assisting Carmen Susana (the midwife) and recording the event at the same time with a camera hanging around her neck. We want to offer the audience this shared ‘visual’ experience as an invitation to think and ‘visualise’ care and childbirth from a disability-studies perspective.