Background to the ‘Womb’ documentary
In response to recent cases of growth attenuation and forced sterilisation of disabled people, artist Gemma Nash has composed a unique documentary sound installation – ‘A Womb With A View’. Gemma’s installation is a journey into the complexities of ‘womanhood’ and our reproductive rights – below is an audio clip of the work.
She has interviewed a cross section of disabled activists, academics actors and artists about the issues they have faced as women. ‘A Womb With A View’ provides audiences with a unique insight into disability, bioethics and womanhood in a modern world. The documentary is both funny, hopeful and at times heart wrenching. In 2016 Gemma worked in collaboration with visual and textile artist Jennifer Bryant, to present the piece in a physical form. Their installation piece was showcased at the Shoddy exhibition in Leeds, Spring 2016.
Soundcloud audio clip of ‘A Womb With A View‘:
Quotes from ‘A Womb With A View‘:
“Fundamentally it means that I am female, it has dictated the shape of my body and the sound of my voice…. my hormones, so my emotions.”
“It’s holding a little baby.”
“I didn’t start my periods till i was 17 and what it did was heralded the beginning of puberty, and for me that meant I got a lot stronger.”
“Women with epilepsy were routinely sterilised in this country until quite recently.”
“My sex education came from behind bomb shelters and walls and things.”
“It’s the one thing you can’t give a man who wants to become a woman, the essence of being a woman is having a womb.”
“One of society’s concepts is that to be a real woman you need to have a womb amongst other things like breasts, and dress a certain way and behave a certain way, but a womb is an important part of womanhood for a lot of people.”
“Womanhood is about the inner self and not the superficial exterior.”
“Protecting her from pain or distress by cutting into her body and slicing through skin and muscle and membrane and taking organs out, seems a really brutal overreaction.”
“Part of the notion that you should sterilise somebody with an intellectual impairment comes from a deeply discriminatory position tied to a kind of sense of gothic horror that some people might be sexual.”
“I certainly don’t think that people who don’t have wombs, I don’t think they’re not women because they don’t have that, I don’t think you need breasts to be a woman, I fundamentally don’t believe in that tie.”