Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BOLD (Birth on Labor Day) Event in Atlanta

I was approached by Anna Laura of the Etsy shop Liberation, about submitting the above Polaroid transfer to an art event in Atlanta. When I found out it was a BOLD (Birth on Labor Day) event, I said yes right away. BOLD is an organization that was founded by Karen Brody, a playwright, who allowed her critically acclaimed play, BIRTH, to be performed for four days over American Labor Day across the world for free. She did this because she wanted to raise awareness about maternity care and to allow organizations that wanted to make maternity care more mother-friendly to raise money. In the end, $10,000 was raised at over 40 performances. This caused Brody to create BOLD so that there could be more events where women could talk about the kinds of births that wanted or have had and to raise even more awareness.

BOLD events happen in one of two ways. There are performances of the play Birth, which can be anything from a full on play to a simple reading where the actors are sitting at a table reading directly from a script (in this case they are often not professional actors). I love the idea of the latter, and know exactly whom I would ask to read should I ever have the time and energy to stage a reading. Birth was written by Brody after she interviewed over one hundred women in America who gave birth between 2000 and 2004. The play tells the true stories of how eight educated, low risk women gave birth.

The other way to raise money and awareness through a Bold event is called a Red Tent Event. This brings women in a community together in a red tent to tell their birth stories. These stories are recorded via film, the written word, or visually. The stories go into the BOLD Library of Birth Truths.

I sent ten of my Polaroid transfers to Anna Laura, to be showcased at the BOLD Atlanta event. I also donated a piece to the silent auction. I was pleased to see about 25 artists are taking part in this event. For more info on the art show you can click here. All proceeds of the silent auction go to benefit Georgia Friends of Midwives.

I have not seen or read Birth but I plan to. I have a passion for birth related topics, especially those that explore the options available and educate low risk women about alternatives to a medicalized birth. I had my first child under the care of a midwife in Quebec. I had a natural birth in a birthing centre and it was a wonderful experience for myself, my husband, and my child.

My second daughter was born at home in Banff, Alberta. It was an AMAZING experience. Although we had planned a home birth and I was under the care of a midwife, my husband caught our daughter in our bathtub, as our three year old looked on, because my entire labor was less than one hour and our midwife was not able to get there in time. Everything was calm and just as we had wanted and our midwives arrived ten minutes later to care for us. While I know I am among only 1% of Alberta women who have given birth at home I do feel that everyone has a right to know their options and to decide what works for them. I am not against medical birth, it was just not what was right for me and my family.

To see this full image, which includes nudity, click here.

If you are in Altanta any time during September 18th - 19th and would like to attend the BOLD event there is a schedule located here. Best wishes for a massive turn out and for many funds to be raised.

All images by Tiffany Teske

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