(Via Whats the Jackanory?)
Tonight is the opening reception for Erin Patrice O'Brien's "Mamás Adolescentes: NYC 2006-2007"
A photo exhibition that chronicles two years in the lives of Mexican-American teenage mothers in Brooklyn, NY. The photos in this exhibit are windows into a world that is largely hidden. They tell the story of Fanny, Elizabeth, Maria, Gina and Yolanda when there is no one else to tell it for them.
On View: Saturday, August 16 - Saturday, August 24, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 16, 2008 4-7pm
Artist Panel Discussion: Saturday, August 16, 3-4pm.
Moderator: Yesenia Ruiz, PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Panel: Dr. Yvette Martas, former Director of the Adolescent OB/Gyn Clinic at Bellevue Hospital, Franziska Castillo, former Contributing Editor of Latina Magazine and Public Relations Manager from El Museo del Barrio and Erin Patrice O'Brien, photographer. Curated by Nina Ziefvert.
Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, 334 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
After the birth of her own daughter in 2005, Photographer Erin O’Brien was struck by how overwhelming motherhood could be and wanted to know how being a mom felt to those barely into adulthood themselves. Dedicated to documenting the situation Erin contacted Dr. Yvette Martas, head of the Bellevue Hospital Adolescent OBGYN clinic, who in 2005 introduced her to Fanny, 14, Elizabeth , 15, years , Maria, 18, Gina, 16, and Yolanda, 17. After that Erin met with the girls on a regular basis and photographed the girls’ during their pregnancies and for up to a year after their babies’ births. Many of the girls are first generation immigrants, with limited knowledge of English, in search of new lives, but instead have wound up in tenement apartments they share with other families. Cut off from school and friends, they are dependant on their younger siblings or roommates to translate for them, and caring for their babies alone all day often results in isolation. “Erin made these young women feel important by validating their lives by photographing them when the whole society ignores them”, says Dr. Yvette Martas.
The teen pregnancy rate among Latinas is nearly twice the national average, and rising. According to the Latino Initiative’s National Campaign, the birth rate for Latinas aged 15-19 increased in 16 of 37 reporting states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2005. Source: www.thenationalcampaign.org