Curator Natalia Sielewicz speaks with Pablo Larios about winning the fight for women’s rights in Poland
BY PABLO LARIOS AND NATALIA SIELEWICZ IN INTERVIEWS
06 NOV 20
Pablo Larios: Recent programming at Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art has focused on biopolitical and feminist perspectives: ‘Paint, Also known as Blood. Women, Affect and Desire in Contemporary Painting’, which you curated last year for instance, and ‘Niepodległe: Women, Independence and National Discourse’, curated by Magda Lipska in 2018, which focused (among other topics) on the role of women in Poland’s Solidarność trade union movement. With this in mind, what do you make of the huge protests that have engulfed Poland over the past two weeks in response to the constitutional court’s attempted anti-abortion ruling?
Natalia Sielewicz: Those two shows complement each other in an interesting manner in relation to the current feminist revolt. …
OCT 26, 2020
'There are a lot of reasons why women need to get an abortion. It's not just unwanted pregnancy. There are victims of abuse and rape,' shares one guest.
"We want to give women options whenever they face a particular situation, and that’s not something we can judge them for."
This was what Shiph Belonguel, youth reproductive health rights advocate, said during the 3rd episode of Spilling the Tea, a webinar series held by Rappler and SheDecides Philippines, a movement that promotes the fundamental rights of adolescent girls and women.
by Jhoni Jackson
"I've had two abortions, I'm blessed, that's it," Viva Ruiz tells PAPER. "God loves us. Period. There's no apology. There's no debate."
Last week, Thank God for Abortion — a collective activism initiative, though founded by Ruiz, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Shout Your Abortion — released an eponymous anthem. It's an electro-reggaeton track that, combined with its video, leaves little unspoken, connecting the dots between various oppressions. 100% of Bandcamp proceeds will benefit the Abortion Care Network.
KAYLA KUMARI UPADHYAYA
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Conversations about abortion have been playing out on the big screen since decades before Roe V. Wade legalized them in the United States in 1973. One of the first known movies that deals with the topic is a 1916 film called Where Are My Children? Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the early year, it was a negative portrayal of abortion.
In recent years, however, depictions of abortion in movies have become more common and somewhat more realistic. In 2020 alone, there have been nine films that depict a character obtaining an abortion, double the number of 2019, according to Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)’s Abortion Onscreen Database. Only two of these movies showed an adverse physical outcome as a result of an abortion, and none portray an adverse psychological outcome. Two are comedies.
“The Problem,” a collaboration with Jason Isbell, imagines a couple having an honest, difficult conversation
By JON FREEMAN
September 28, 2020
Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell depict a couple having an honest, difficult conversation about abortion in the new song “The Problem.” The track’s release coincides with International Safe Abortion Day and proceeds from its sales will go to the Yellowhammer Fund, a reproductive justice organization based in Alabama.
Shires wrote the song a few years ago and originally imagined it as a conversation between several women, but revamped it to feature her collaborator and husband. The timing of “The Problem” and the fact that it’s benefiting the Yellowhammer Fund are both important, as draconian, punitive abortion laws have been enacted in Alabama and neighboring states in the last year.
By JAMI GANZ, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
SEP 08, 2020
This isn’t the kind of buddy road trip you’d expect to be played for laughs.
In the dramedy “Unpregnant” — hitting HBO Max Thursday and based on last year’s novel of the same name by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan — Haley Lu Richardson stars as overachieving Missouri teen Veronica, who will do anything to get an abortion.
By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz
Aug 12, 2020
In an interminably looooong list of bummer abortion movies — with some great exceptions like Obvious Child, Saint Frances, and Grandma — it’s still not all that often that a terminated pregnancy is anything other than the dark center of an upsetting story line. So, when a movie that depicts abortion as not only essential but ordinary — perhaps even comedic — I breathe a sigh of relief.
Needless to say I am thrilled about HBO Max’s Unpregnant, which is one part road-movie, one-part buddy comedy, where the protagonist needs to terminate her pregnancy (but that fact is a part of the broader story arc of her character and not just her One Thing.)
Aug. 5, 2020
By Megan Burbank, Seattle Times features reporter
“Did you feel they treated you like a person?” The question is posed near the end of the new documentary “Personhood” to Tamara Loertscher, a Wisconsin woman who was imprisoned in 2014 while pregnant after disclosing prior drug use to her doctor; tests showed traces of methamphetamine in her body.
Loertscher and her attorneys have maintained that she stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant, but as the case unfolded, her history of drug use and Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” became the state’s justification for giving her fetus more legal rights than she had. Loertscher’s fetus was appointed an attorney; she, initially, was not. When Loertscher refused drug treatment, she was jailed, which effectively cut off the prenatal care she had sought.
As women’s reproductive rights remain under constant threat, Beth Webb speaks to actor and filmmaker Kelly O’Sullivan about the importance of showing abortions on-screen
July 20, 2020
About 30 minutes into Chicago-set indie comedy Saint Frances, Kelly O’Sullivan’s Bridget undergoes a medical abortion. In-between forcefully vomiting and sitting uncomfortably on the toilet, the 34-year-old waitress spends the day in the arms of her lover, watching nature documentaries and reading chapters from Harry Potter.
“It was very important to me to have a sweet abortion montage,” says O’Sullivan – who drew on her own medical abortion for her screenwriting debut, which is out in the UK now – from her home in Chicago. “Women and girls walk away from watching abortions in film and TV feeling truly scared, and that might impact the way they think about making a choice like that for themselves in the future.”
Mon 6 Jul 2020
There is nothing funny about the pro-choice v anti-abortion culture war that has been intensifying over the past few years, but comedy is proving to be a powerful weapon in it. To the extent that the phrase “abortion comedy” is no longer an oxymoron. You could well apply it to Alex Thompson’s new indie film Saint Frances, whose subject is a 34-year-old underachiever (Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the movie) who hasn’t got her life together.
Becoming a nanny is a step forward; getting pregnant with a man she barely knows is a step back. She has no trouble getting a termination, but the film deals honestly with the aftermath, both physical (never has a film been less ashamed about menstruation) and emotional (even if her boyfriend has more issues about it than she does, which he writes down in his “feelings journal”). It does not treat the matter lightly, nor does it present a termination as something shocking or shaming or freighted with guilt.