I’mOther is a project that has explored, unpicked, dissected and materialised the concept of childfreeness and what it means to be a woman who is childfree by choice, in a Swedish context. The fertility norm – that women are supposed to want, to have and be able to carry children, have made motherhood to seem as one of the deepest manifestations of womanhood and parenting as a natural part of life.
The project has explored possibilities for creating a space which can invite conversations about childfreeness, conveying narratives of childfree women and making childfreeness visible as a potential adult future. In a celebratory way, the project wants to give agency to women who experience life outside of the norm and speak to those who have the privilege to shape their own lives and to those who want to understand the choice of not becoming birth mothers.
The process has included collaboration with the feminist association Grrl Tech located in Växjö, Sweden. A crafts evening was organized where invited participants were encouraged to exchange thoughts and experiences regarding the topic while crafting together. The conversations that took place during the evening were later transformed through artistic interpretation.
The design pieces were created through the craftshership of cross-stitch embroidery to convey narratives of childfree women while recognizing a female cultural heritage. The pieces portray life scenarios and conversations which are lived and experienced by women living outside of the norm, and resemble the wall hangings communicating values and wisdom crafted by generations of women in the herstory of domestic politics.
“Out of respect for parents with toddlers, I don’t share posts when I do stuff undisturbed.”
“But you never post anything?”