Interviews & Conversations Projects Women I've Shot

Positive Birth in South Africa: This is Catherine Brown

The Gate-Keepers: A Portraiture Project

This is a portraiture project, documenting the “gatekeepers” of a growing movement regarding positive birth experiences in our country.  My aim: to promote those who are enabling women to identify with their power and femininity and therefore normalize birth and the body.

These are their stories / anecdotes / opinions about what they do and how they see it…accompanied by my portraits and some general information on each sitter.

Catherine Brown is a doula with a past in the film industry. She’s been working professionally in the birthing world in South Africa for almost two years now. She works mostly on in the peninsula area.

Catherine Brown Doula Midwife south africa photographed by Leah Hawker

“Stigmas around so many natural, normal occurrences of life, such as defecating, sexual arousal, nudity so often shuts a woman off from the exact process that facilitates birth. These stigmas, and the high rate of abuse, in our society stop women from opening up, in every way…”

“Lets move away from the fear-based emergency care model of birth we currently into the profound, everyday empowering process that birth is,”

• (I invite more participants to join the project, you are welcome to email me for more information).

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