Film Screening: The Motherhood Archives (2013)

31 Oct 2013

Event times

18:30 - 20:00

Cost of entry


The Photographers' Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Just off Oxford Street so accessible by bus services to Oxford Street and a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus Tube Station.

Save Event: Film Screening: The Motherhood Archives (2013)

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:



The Motherhood Archives (2013) Directed by Irene Lusztig. Archival montage, science fiction, and an homage to 70s feminist filmmaking are all woven together to form this haunting and lyrical film excavating hidden histories of childbirth in the twentieth century. Assembling an extraordinary archive of over 100 educational, industrial, and medical training films (including newly rediscovered Soviet and French childbirth films) The Motherhood Archives inventively untangles the complex, sometimes surprising genealogies of maternal education. From the first use of anesthetic ether in the 19th century to the postmodern 21st century hospital birthing suite, The Motherhood Archives charts a fascinating course through the cultural history of pain, the history of obstetric anesthesia, and the little-known international history of the natural childbirth and Lamaze movements. Revealing a world of intensive training, rehearsal, and performative preparation for the unknown that is ultimately incommensurate with experience, The Motherhood Archives is a meditation on the maternal body as a site of institutional control, ideological surveillance, medical knowledge, and nationalist state intervention. The film works both as a feminist recuperation of obsolete maternal histories and as a visual analysis of the persistent disciplining of the pregnant / laboring body. Free, booking required via The Photographers' Gallery website.

Art form Toggle


Have you been to this event? What do you think? Join the discussion here!
Remember, you can include links to your instagram pictures and to videos.