Birth Rites Collection Presents

Come Home  

As part of the residency awarded to Marta Stysiak for winning the 2020 BRC Biennial Competition for New Work, Stysiak has extended her video installation BADLAND (which was acquired by BRC in 2020) into a feature length documentary called ‘Come Home’. Birth Rites Collection was granted an Arts Council England award to cover the cost of Stysiak spending time in-situ with the midwifery department at KCL online, attending relevant classes, holding workshops with students and interviewing and filming members of staff and students around the subject of young mothers / mental health / incarceration. Stysiak carried out workshops with students to show them a draft of the documentary film ‘Come Home’ (50 minutes) to receive feedback as it was being made. She used this feedback to shape the film and also interviewed key academic members of staff to ask questions like:

Exploring core themes of young motherhood and the mother-daughter relationship, ‘Come Home’ is the story of a young Polish mother. The film follows 16-year-old Victoria’s journey into motherhood, documenting her turbulent relationship with her own mother and her experiences as her infant son is removed to foster care and she is unable to visit him.

What happens to a mother who is deprived of her motherhood? Set against the background of the Polish juvenile re-socialisation programme, 'Come Home' engages with significant and urgent discussions around maternal mental health, universal access to childcare and social support, adoption practice and birth control.

The film's narrative is accompanied by Victoria's music and songs, in which the girl skillfully translates her feelings and action into the language of rap. Her lyrics carry a huge emotional load and allow us to get to know her, and her story better.


The film was produced by Marta Stysiak & Birth Rites Collection with support from Arts Council England