Submit your birth story and be a participant in The Lullaby Project HERE
The Lullaby Project, 2019
Project for Empty Space, Newark, NJ
2019 Feminist in Residence Program
No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do we all start from the same place. From inside a womb. We’ve all been birthed. We’ve all been participants in a birth story. Some of us only of our own. Some of us have experienced both aspects of the process. So why don’t we share our birth stories more? Our stories of labor and loss and love. The birth process is really all of these elements kneaded together into one enormously emotional and physical feat. The Lullaby Project was started as a way to create a space to share theses tales. Our stories of labor and delivery are all so different, dictated by our access or denial to certain rights, privileges, and support, yet we all emerge from this time the same; as a Mother.
Everyone who gives birth has their own unique tale of their transformation.Their metamorphosis into motherhood. Unique yet essentially the same for thousands of years. A magical and sacred journey of connection and separation. Separating while still being physically connected. Connected for the sole purpose of eventually separating. Yet not every birth is given the respect to which it is entitled to. Pains are often ignored and dismissed. Needs are often forgotten somewhere along the way.
The Lullaby Project is about creating a space to share, reflect and celebrate birthing stories. Each and every birth story deserves to be heard, commemorating the complexity of this passage. No story is too small. No detail insignificant. This is a way to acknowledge the womxn who have shared their body with another life. These stories highlight the raw strength and power that’s activated from within to get through labor, adding nuance to shift the archetype of mother. Once collected each story is transformed into its own lullaby. Uniquely tailored to reflect the journey of each womxn, the level of detail is dictated by each participant.
Collecting these stories has been a slow process, and an ongoing one, which speaks to the complexity of its power. A collective deep-rooted dismissal of the reality of the birthing process combined with the unequivocal truth that it is not easy to revisit this process or find words for it. It is practically indescribable to vocalize. So we lock them away. The Lullaby Project is the space where we unlock these stories, sharing a private, painful experience as a way of acknowledging its centrality to human existence. The question of who hears these stories is a challenge that remains. Maybe by singing them we’ll hear them better, listen more closely? A way of retelling our stories, masking the pain through prose, I try to honor each transition into motherhood by rethinking the mother as a state of motherness starting from the moment that one becomes two, then transforming these stories into lullabies.