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Dark Side of the Womb -Campaign / Exhibition Proposal

I am a childfree photographer currently documenting the childfree / childless movement. My photography migrates between creative portraiture and documentary photography. I am driven by research led projects and collaborate with my subjects to create images that speak out about current issues, to reveal a truthful voice, and promote unity, equality, inclusivity and compassion. Dark Side of the Womb, represents the injustice of infertility and how people without kids are treated unfairly. My campaign is to normalise the childfree/ childless status. Childfree - people who consciously decide not to procreate. Childless - involuntary circumstance that is not by choice. People that do not have children are an expanding population. it is counted that nearly one in four people have not conceived children and, in akin the global population is predicted to be 10 billion by 2050. In 2022, the Rowe v Wade US legal case criminalised abortion. Not long after in the UK it was suggested that the childless / childfree workforce should be taxed extra. There was no mention of the positive aspect on the environment, that living a life without descendants creates less of a global strain on our planets natural resources. There also is a consideration on the future of younger people in an era where the planet is going through profound change. In reality childfree are painted as selfish and the whilst the childless are grieving their loss, both sets individuals without kids are expected to take on extra work duties, cover co-workers when off with parenting issues. They do not receive an equivalent of maternity or paternity pay or leave and are expected to work extra shifts around public holidays. What needs to be brought to light is the fact that the non-parents are not protected. The UK Equality & Diversity Law (2010) safeguards pregnancy and maternity. This should be brought up to date with contemporary lifestyles and be amended to be inclusive of the quarter of the population that are without an offspring. The law needs to embrace people whatever their family status and consider individuals pets, plants, creativity as their brood.

Denise Felkin 2023

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