GRETA RICO

Urban Midwives

Urban Midwives is a documentary photography project that portrays the almost unknown work of Midwives who provide attention in one of the biggest cities in Latin America, Mexico City. In the Metropolitan Area, a place where more than 20 million people live, there is a single midwifery house and approximately 8 Midwives who attend home births.

According to the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey, Mexico ranks fourth worldwide in caesarean births without medical indication. This data almost triples the recommendations by the World Health Organization. In the midst of an epidemic of unnecessary caesarean sections currently occurring in the country, Urban Midwives Urban Midwives documents through photography that the midwifery model represents an alternative for women's access to health by providing care before, during and after their births, as well as contributing to decrease the rates of obstetric violence that Mexican women constantly experience in hospitals.

In Mexico, being born or not in a hospital is a matter of status. The misinformation and discrimination women face in clinics creates the perfect environment for them to come in fear of what might happen to them or their babies in hospitals. Urban Midwives Urban Midwives is the result of almost three years of documentary work and makes it visible that midwifery houses are spaces of resistance, spaces won by Midwives for the benefit of women, and makes it clear that giving birth at home is a political act.

Project trajectory

In October 2020, Urban Midwives won the award for the category “Working Woman” in the 26th Latin American Documentary Photography Contest “Los Trabajos y los Días” organized by the National Trade Union School in Colombia.

In February of 2020, Urban Midwives was selected to join This is Gender, Global Health 50/50 in Engalnd as a as a project that portrays the "invisible" work of Midwives in Mexico City, and that positions the care system of Midwifery as a political and resistance act..

This project was selected in the XI edition of the IILA-Photography Award "Gender Equality" in March 2019 organized by the Italian Institute of Culture. And as a finalist in the 5th. National Photography Contest 2019, "Human Rights" in October of the same year organized by the Cuartoscuro Magazine and the Government of Coahuila, Mexico.

In September 2019, the project was published by the Open Society Foundations  in the USA as a project that puts into question the policy of giving birth at home in a country with a high rate of cesarean sections like Mexico.

Exhibitions

Until 2020, Urban Midwives has been part of seven group exhibitions in four countries; United Kingdom, Italy, Colombia and Mexico.

In addition, during 2020 the complete collection of photographs was exhibited at Casa Del Tiempo of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana during the month of March within the framework of the Tiempo de Mujeres Festival organized by the Secretariat of Culture of Mexico City and in the Centro Médico Station of the Metro Collective Transportation System in Mexico City during the months of October and December.

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