‘Riprendiamoci il Parto!’ was released in Italy in 1978 and is the Italian revised and expanded edition of the ’72 American ‘Birth Book’.
The book traces the experience of childbirth throughout history: from the Middle Age – with its superstitions, when midwives were often accused of witchcraft, to the rationalism of medicine and surgery: an experimental and mechanical attitude in which the woman was simply giving birth, not at all feeling and listening to herself.
This book also promotes the practice of childbirth at home, while it was still forbidden in the U.S. – and invites women not to give up the knowledge of what happens before, during and after birth, trusting only doctors (often men). Instead, they should adopt a more natural and spontaneous approach, without surrendering to fear, that can be defeated only through awareness and self-consciousness.
The photographs seem to have no authorship, taken by somebody who apparently leaves no trace in these spontaneous and true images. Childbirths lived in harmony, where nothing could have changed the ethereal gaze and affection, the time that dilates and shrinks to the rhythm of painful contractions.
A pain that is forgotten through the commitment of mothers, women and feminists.
And the emotions of childbirth shine in the games of light and shade but also in the difficult shots taken in the dark, trying to avoid disturbing that fragile creature that is being born, shots that are almost hesitating, carefully avoid being intrusive, genuine photos of mothers who generously show themselves, free and happy, strong, fragile, surrounded by affection, with no inhibitions.