When I first began this project it was from a desire to explore ‘motherhood/parenthood’ from a multiracial feminist perspective.
When I started this work in 2018, I was a new single mother by choice and had recently experienced the incredible beauty and challenges of this immense rite of passage. Simultaneously I was struck by the isolation, emotional labour and societal devaluing of this role. As a way of documenting this first stage of my experience I set up a camera in my living room to capture raw, vulnerable and spontaneous moments with my newborn child. As both exploration and visual journal, I was curious to see what I would uncover from the process. This process has lead me to wanting to create a new portrait series with other cis/trans people who identify with the role of mothering. While I am working with folks of all cultural backgrounds now, I am very focused on centering the bodies of queer, racialized and indigenous caregivers in the first stages of mother/parenthood. Striving to bring a voice to the sense of erasure and postpartum issues that we experience on our bodies and identities in the name of love.
From top: Megan, Joanna, Alice and Lucy.
Ella Cooper is an award winning cultural leader, producer, facilitator, photo-video artist, educator and programmer based in Toronto.