badlandStill from video Badland


A video installation is based on a telephone converstaion between mother and daughter called M. M. is a teenage mother whose child was taken against her will from the hospital in second week after birth depriving the girl the right to be a mother.

Instalation "Badland" is part of the extensive documentation that I’ve kept since January 2019.

The heroine of the video, here called M., is a small town girl with educational problems since she was 12 years old. The mother, failing to cope with her, directed M. to an orphanage. M. regularly escaped from there and became pregnant during one of the escapes. Her child was taken in the second week of life and directed to a foster family.

M. HAD NO RIGHT TO BREAST FEED NOR VISIT THE BABY FOR THE FOLLOWING MONTHS. The foster family will look after the baby until M. reaches the age of majority. Then the court will decide the fate of the child. The girl is hoping that she will get her son back. She is now directed to the Hospital for Nervous and Mentally ill, completely losing contact with her son. The presented material is a record of a telephone conversation of two women; mother – daughter about M.’s son.

Every year in Poland, several thousand underage girls get pregnant. Some of them are children of orphanages or resocialization facilities. Children of such mothers are frequently put directly into adoption or foster families against the will of the underage mother.

The title "Badland" refers to the place where the heroine is. She is separated from her life, she feels hopelessness, which is compounded by the lack of contact with the child and the possibility of realizing herself as a mother. She tries to adapt to the life in the ward. Chinese soup is part of the ritual that accompanies her daily routine. Who has nothing to brew (i.e has no instant soup to be prepared) - is excluded from the group at the ward. The “brewing” is also an opportunity to buy in the favours of senior residents of a psychiatric hospital.

3 mins 53 s

Winner of The Birth Rites Collection Biennial Competition for New Works
Following a selection process by Charlotte Jansen, editor-at-large at Elephant, Hermione Wiltshire, BRC associate artist and lecturer at the Royal College of Art and BRC Curator, Helen Knowles.
The collection is hosted by the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care. King’s College London.